Repairing oil-immersed transformers is inevitable at some point. These components are susceptible to damage for multiple reasons, and until it’s time for replacement, you’ll need to have them fixed so they can function normally. Oil leakage is one of the most common issues out there, so engineers have developed effective approaches to tackle this nuisance.
Oil is used to remove the waste heat and conduct it to the outside air; without this process, the heat will literally melt the inside components and disable the entire transformer. The other function is insulation. Apart from oil, you can also use air or solid insulation to protect the parts with different voltages from each other. Oil is generally seen as the most convenient and cost-effective solution, though it’s not without its downsides. Visit https://www.tiogapublishing.com/potter_leader_enterprise/news/local/transformer-fire-causes-power-furnace-issues-at-morgan-am-t/article_14dbd5b1-a23d-5aea-9345-5b775e2d155d.html to learn more.
Leakage is Dangerous
If we are to believe statistics, four-fifths of all oil spills happen on land. The culprits are mainly faulty vehicles and heavy-duty equipment, though refineries, power plants, and substations contribute significantly to the damage.
Whatever the source, leaked oil poses a severe threat to the environment. After it’s spilled, it collects on surfaces such as asphalt and concrete. Things get more complicated when there’s rainfall; the water carries the oil into the soil, the drainage system, different waterways, etc. We don’t need to explain just how damaging this can be for the ecosystem, and human health is directly affected by polluted drinking water.
Transformers are usually not the first thing that comes to mind when we talk about oil leaks. However, older models that use toxic liquids require the expertise of trained professionals and immediate action. Spilled oil can affect our surroundings in different ways.
Nature as a Target
Environmental protection is a top priority in any situation, especially when it comes to oil. Let’s suppose there’s a stream or river near your substation. If oil contaminates the water, the toxins can affect vegetation and wildlife habitats, even lead to mass poisoning of different animal groups. Because of this, it’s necessary to make any leaking issues known to people in the surrounding area, especially if there are fishing activities involved.
Organisms can suffer from toxic constituents in different ways. For instance, they can inhale or ingest them, but skin contact is equally dangerous, even lethal in some cases. The feathers of birds and mammal fur are no exception: oil can easily penetrate these surfaces and decrease the animals’ natural ability to insulate by a wide margin.
If you’ve ever come into contact with oil, you must be aware of the powerful smell. Unfortunately, this can be disastrous for animals that rely on their noses to survive. Imagine a mother bear, coated in oil, trying to locate her nest full of newborns. The strong chemical scent will overpower everything else, giving her a really tough time.
Upon entering the body, oil can affect the internal organs to the point of failure, especially the liver or lungs. It can also impair digestive organs, and dehydration is by no means a rare occurrence. It’s imperative to prevent the spill from covering a more expansive territory as early as possible if you want to avoid these catastrophes.
Business is Also at Risk
We talked about general environmental issues, but what about your immediate surrounding? If you have a faulty transformer or other electrical equipment, it can seriously damage your business financially. Of course, it depends on how bad the leakage is: the more oil is spilled, the higher the costs for labor, materials, clean-ups, waste disposal, etc.
Business owners need to be aware of compliance for a number of reasons. Policies exist to ensure that your employees follow the rules, and ignoring all leaks or similar malfunctions can result in high legal fines for your organization. Nowadays, there’s a vast network of environmental protection agencies, and you can become a target if you’re seen as a contaminator.
Something that starts as a minor or small leak can bring a lot of bad publicity to your company. Competitors are often eager to undermine their rivals by pointing out such issues. To avoid getting your reputation in danger, you can take immediate action instead and hire a repair service that will make your life a lot easier.
When it comes to leak repairs, it’s best to get it right the first time. Obviously, hack jobs will only result in additional costs in the future, so take your time to find skilled technicians that pay attention to detail. Unlike before, modern methods allow on-site fixing without deactivating the transformer, bringing you excellent cost savings.
Like any other malfunction, specialists first have to detect the leaking component, its location and estimate the potential damage. They usually cannot inspect the matter precisely just by looking at it. For this purpose, they use a special spray that acts as a leak detector. By spraying a light coating on the leak, they’ll know exactly where the problem is by spotting the color change.
Modern services make their work far more effective by avoiding traditional, time-consuming techniques such as evacuating gas or drainage. Also, they perform transformer and electrical component leak repair while the components are energized. No company owner wants a prolonged power outage that will slow down all operations and possibly result in profit loss.
Repairs for oil leaks typically involve the use of dielectric sealant injections, among other things. The sealant is placed into the coupling, packing gland, flange, or some other affected part. Also, they offer to build and install custom enclosures, usually aluminum; in case of a drain plug or a cooling fin that’s rusty, you might opt for this solution.
Ideally, the service should provide a turnkey solution for your leaks. Back in the day, these services required you to take the faulty equipment out of services, replace worn parts, or drain the oil, resulting in high repair expenses and downtime; that’s no longer the case. Make sure you take advantage of technology advancements to bring your organization to a new level.