Transformer, Motor & Generator Testing
Transformers, motors and generators are all essential equipment that is often integral for the operation of a system. When these devices are not running at full efficiency, or are damaged by things such as excessive vibration, contaminants and various other factors, this can lead to an overall loss of efficiency and can result in potential financial loss.
The testing devices included within this category are designed to give users all the tools they need to ensure that motors, generators and transformers can be kept running at optimal levels of efficiency and any problems can be rectified long before they become a more significant problem. Regular testing procedures are highly recommended on these devices to make sure that any sudden problems are addressed (after all, problems can occur at any time).
Phase rotation testers are commonly associated with the testing of motors as they evaluate exactly how three-phase systems are rotating in relation to each other. When incorrect phase rotation is taking place this could cause the system to run incorrectly and would be flagged up when testing using a phase rotation tester.
Tachometers are used for measuring RPM (revolutions per minute) on machinery with rotating parts. When a device rotates at a level not specified due to an error, this could lead to a build-up of friction levels, weakening of parts and eventually could cause the system to break entirely. A tachometer evaluates that the correct level of RPM based on the system's correct working parameters is present and can be used to spot excessive RPM levels. These testers can either be non-contact and use laser beams for measurement purposes or alternatively can be full contact devices which constantly log RPM over a time period.
High power electrical transformers rely on the insulative properties of oil to correctly operate. The problem with using oil in this way is that the oil is constantly subjected to electrical current, leading to gradual breakdown of the oil's overall efficiency. Excessive electrical output also causes the oil to react with metallic components and other contaminants that might be in the air/from other applications, leading to oil being filled with components that simply shouldn't be there and cause the oil to work incorrectly.
Transformer oil testers are designed to test insulative oils (including mineral, silicone and ester oils) to evaluate the dielectric strength (IE the voltage resistance) of the oil. To perform this test a sample of the oil is taken, placed inside a vessel and inserted into a transformer oil tester. The sample will then be safely subjected to high levels of voltage until oil breakdown occurs; by taking this reading, the user is then able to determine how much electrical power oil can withstand and change oil over if the dielectric strength is too low.
Turns ratio testers work with transformers to ensure that the turning of the transformer produces the optimal levels of power and is working within correct thresholds. Regular testing with these devices should be performed to ensure correct transformer operation.
Vibration testers vary from handheld units to complex instruments that can measure multiple vibration channels simultaneously. One of the biggest downsides of industrial-grade machinery (and perhaps lesser devices) is that they often vibrate due to their operation levels. This vibration can then in turn lead to the loosening of components, cause internal damage to the system and can gradually build up further as the age of the system increases. Unchecked vibration is also highly dangerous to those working around the system.
A vibration meter is used to accurately determine the level of vibration on the system and can be used to log levels over a time period or alternatively measure single values.