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Article Date: 12th August 2016

ABB Power Grids - Rapid Return to full Output for Lynemouth Power Station

Lynemouth Power Station - Generator Transformers

ABB Power Grids - Lynemouth Power Station

Only 30 weeks after Lynemouth Power Station lost one of its generator transformers, ABB helped it return to full power output with a refurbished and uprated unit in ‘better than new’ condition.

When Lynemouth Power Station on the Northumberland Coast experienced a major failure on one of its three generator transformers, it called in ABB to refurbish the unit in around half the time required for procuring a new transformer. The transformer was completely remanufactured to ‘better than new’ condition with a modern energy-efficient design.

The loss of the 135 megavolt ampere (MVA) 132/24 kilovolt (kV) generator transformer could have had significant implications for the 420 megawatt (MW) facility, with its loss reducing the plant’s output by one third.

Fast response
When the transformer failed, Lynemouth Power Station called in ABB’s transformer service team which had carried out a previous rewinding project. Within 24 hours the team was on site to carry out tests and advanced diagnostics that confirmed the specific phase and winding where the problem had occurred.

Since the existing transformer was an ageing 1970s unit, a brand new replacement was considered. However, the 12-month lead time was simply too long to wait for the power station so its engineers approved a scheme to transport the 70 tonne unit to ABB’s specialist facility in Drammen, Norway for a complete remanufacture.
Transformer workshop in Drammen, Norway

ABB Power Grids - Lynemouth Power StationAt Drammen, the transformer was de-tanked, stripped down and its core and windings replaced to create a modern lower-loss unit based on ABB’s Trafostar design. The opportunity was taken to t new bushings as well as online monitoring. The fully refurbished transformer was then shipped back to site for reinstallation and commissioning. Retaining the existing tank offered an important advantage as no modifications were required to the mounting plinth.

ABB’s transformer facility in Drammen offers a new lease of life to ageing or faulty power transformers and shunt reactors, enabling them to be completely rebuilt and returned to as-new condition or even upgraded to a higher specification. It is possible to change the voltage rating of a transformer or a complete re-design to higher power rating. Other upgrade possibilities include enhanced cooling or rewinding coils with Nomex high temperature insulation material. This boosts power as well as offers improvements in lifetime and reliability.

Transformer Intelligence
The transformer is the first unit in the UK to use ABB’s state-of-the-art CoreSense and TEC monitoring technology that provides real time online transformer intelligence. The CoreSense sensor continuously monitors hydrogen levels in transformer oil to provide an early warning for most incipient transformer problems as well as monitoring moisture levels. ABB’s TEC (Transformer Electronic Control) collates the information and presents it on a user friendly dashboard display as well as optimising the transformer’s cooling and load pro le for maximum energy efficiency.

"In this case, time really was money for Lynemouth Power Station as the timescale required to specify, order and deliver a new transformer would have taken them beyond the winter period,” said Craig Carrington, ABB Sales manager for Transformer Service. “Once again, ABB’s fast-track refurbishment service has saved the day, helping to get the power station back to full power in half the time, and with a unit that now incorporates the very latest technology."

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