Failure of a 1.5 MVA Distribution Transformer - From There to Where?

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Jacob Gould
Maintenance Electrical Engineer
CMOC Northparkes Mines

Intrusive maintenance of a 1.5 MVA distribution transformer to rectify several oil leaks lead to the assets failure within 18 hours of re-energisation. The failed transformer provided power to production-critical equipment which was returned to service within 24 hours of the fault. Investigation and review adopted a back to basics approach to ensure this failure was used to reduce the risk of downtime on larger, more costly plant.

This presentation will discuss the factors leading up to the event that were identified as requiring significant improvement for future maintenance as well as how efforts in the planning stages greatly benefit the end needs. The actions taken immediately following the fault to provide a 24 hour turnaround are also considered, leading into discussion regarding the identified contributing and essential causal factors.

The broader focus of the presentation is on the review of all stages of the maintenance cycle including, scoping, access control and procedures, maintenance practices, outage review and continuous improvement. As a matter of outcomes, the key areas of focus are on equipment maintenance philosophy and good practice to ensure the right low level cornerstones are in place. These fundamentals are applied as a whole-of-life type approach ensuring that each cycle is reviewed and improves the next.

Jacob Gould is employed as a Maintenance Electrical Engineer at CMOC Northparkes Mines providing coverage across all electrical equipment in both the underground mine and surface operations including a conventional grind and float copper concentrator. Whilst studying, he developed an interest in the practical application of electrical engineering, preferring to work in with maintenance teams as a way to get hands-on experience. Jacob has worked in both mining and power generation with an interest in HV powered equipment and site distribution systems. His current interests are centered on the maintenance of HV equipment such as transformers and motors.