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Tap changer overhaul and upgrade

Proper Load and/or On-Load Tap Changer (LTC / OLTC) maintenance has become increasingly complex even for the best utility and industrial managers. Factors resulting from interconnections and power networks to aging equipment and the declining pool of technical experts add to the challenge.

Tap changers are very important components in transformers and the power grid. As they are of mechanical construction, they cause concern due to their maintenance needs and their failure probability. It is therefore important to be able to assure the integrity of tap changers as cost effective and reliably as possible. Moreover, reports from international studies made by for example CIGRE shows that faults associated to tap changers are the origin of up to one third of the transformer failures in service.

When you evaluate the liability of a single tap changer failure at today’s costs, establishing an effective maintenance strategy becomes a matter no one can ignore. ABB offers a comprehensive and systematic approach to effectively maintain many manufacturers’ tap changers, including ABB, Westinghouse, Reinhausen, Moloney, GE, National Industri and others. Our tap changer program can supplement existing in-house programs or work independently to satisfy the total maintenance need. ABB’s tap changer team provides support 24/7, and all field services are furnished by the ABB qualified technicians and engineers.

For services ranging from documentation and design engineering, to the latest in testing and oil processing, to providing 100% OEM grade parts and life extension kits, ABB is the best resource for all tap changer service requirements.

Our tap changer services increase transformer life, reliability, and lower overall maintenance and operating costs. In order to further assist our customers, ABB offers a wide range of monitoring and diagnostic tools from the simple way to monitor the temperature difference between the LTC/OLTC and the transformer main tank up to the most advanced solutions on the market for example TEC. This will allow more refined diagnosis of LTC/OLTC problems to predict maintenance/overhaul needs based on actual condition and not on the number of switching operations.

In order to further lower the maintenance and operating cost, ABB have introduced plug-and-play concept. This means the possibility to upgrade an old oil-breaking tap changers type UCG and UCL to vacuum technology. A work that is as easy as a normal maintenance.

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