Power transformers in the North America network currently have an average age of 42 years while the original designed lives are as low as 30 years. Outdoor electronic systems and transformers alike, often experience sudden failure due to transportation, temperature fluctuation, electric surge and lightning strike, etc. The aging infrastructure and unexpected failures post risks of severe economic and social consequences. The system health monitoring and early failure detection is a hot technology innovation for the damage prevention and escalation control.
Using Fiber-Bragg-Grating sensors, high voltage and high ESD problems can be identified where conventional sensors will not function to improve safety, efficiency and reliability. Vibration monitoring solutions work well in hostile environments using novel fiber optics. These sensors are ideal for use in high voltage motors, power generators or inside oil filled power transformers. Appropriate monitoring enables preventative service before catastrophic failures occur.
This project will develop a novel fibre optics moisture and temperature sensor which can gauge performance to optimize the lifespan of a transformer.