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Plastic Case Study

Oil-Filled Transformer Failure

Johnson & Phillips recently received an enquiry for a large number of capacitors from a manufacturing facility that manufactured specialty polymers. The amount of capacitors requested prompted our service desk to ask numerous questions. The reason was explained as a power surge due to polymer machine overload, and they thought the capacitors had failed. Their main switch was tripping under-load, and the facility was now on stop.

We have the results to back up our experience and knowledge.

The Challenge

The service desk at Johnson & Phillips recommended we send an engineer to investigate further.  Our engineers investigated the problem on-site and found the main oil-filled transformer had failed and was causing the main switch to interrupt, and the transformer was absorbing the additional volume from the PFC capacitors.

It was also found that the main switchboard was an old Ellison type with obsolete mechanical Circuit Breakers. This switchboard had been supplied as a second-hand unit and was once part of a packaged substation. This was no longer reliable and would not provide adequate protection according to BS7671 guidelines.

The Solution

The Result

Johnson & Phillips has an end-to-end capability, so there was no need for additional contractors to get involved. Being HV we could isolate and renew the transformer, we manufacture switchgear so replacing the Main Switch was a formality on site and having extensive capability in Power Factor Correction allowed us to look further and find the real issue.