To reach an acceptable level of safety and reliability in operating power grids, real time monitoring of the grid is considered an essential requirement. Real time monitoring of power transformers simply means measuring and monitoring their critical electrical parameters (including voltage, current, harmonic component, power and power factor) and non-electrical parameters (such as temperature, internal pressure and oil level) on a real time basis. Adding control mechanisms to monitor systems and enabling transformer disconnect in emergency cases makes the system even more efficient.
Monitoring transformers not only increases grid security but also increases a transformer’s lifespan and time between failures. Developing modern technologies such as commonly accessible and affordable telecommunication networks and easy-to-use IT systems provides opportunities for electricity distribution companies to set up transformer monitoring and protection systems.
Transformer monitoring and protection systems comprise two parts: the first being the local hardware, usually a cabinet, which is installed close to the transformer and collects local signals and processes the data and undertakes remedial action in emergency situations. The second part is the monitoring and control console(s) which is located at the utility head office where utility employees monitor and control transformers in real time. Monitoring and protecting of transformers is a crucial concern for utilities; however this is not limited to transformer related challenges. In smart metering systems the installation point of transformers is a focal point where meters are equipped with telecommunication modems or programmed remotely. The telecommunication technology of smart prepaid or postpaid meters is usually short range with a..