Transformer failure is a major concern for industry says report

November 06, 2018 // By Nick Flaherty
Over half of power industry professionals surveyed in a recent report have identified the failure of a power transformer as a major challenge for their business.

The Transformer Risk Report from Midel found that 61 percent of industry professionals who took part in a survey had experienced transformer failure in the last five years, while 5 in 10 said transformer failure would significantly impact or halt their businesses’ operations. 

“Transformers are critical components of our electricity infrastructure, but the impact and extent of transformer failure is not widely documented," said Barry Menzies, Managing Director Global of Midel, which produces ester-based transformer fluids. "The report shines a light on transformer failure and the findings are clear: it has a significant and prolonged impact on businesses. An interruption to business operations can be very expensive, demonstrate poor corporate social responsibility and impact business continuity. The good news is that many of the causes of transformer failure are largely within the operators’ control. It’s relatively straightforward to replace old equipment and components and upgrade maintenance regimes; however, the survey suggests a level of concern that indicates industry needs to think more strategically about asset management and dedicate more resources to mitigating the risk of failure.”

The survey, with responses from original equipment manufacturers, industry consultants, and transmission and distribution operators, aims to enhance industry understanding of the failure of transformers, assessing the impact, levels of concern and general industry attitudes towards transformer failure.

The level of worry about the threat of transformer failure is high among businesses with 80% of respondents expressing their concern. Although the risk to staff and the public was naturally a key concern for respondents, the survey also revealed that business continuity was a top priority. Almost all respondents recognised the implications of transformer failure on business continuity and loss of revenue by identifying it as a key factor to assess the risk level of. Supporting this finding, safeguarding business continuity appears as one of the top three drivers for improving transformer performance. 


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