Design and implementation of a remote monitoring system for distribution transformers
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In the distribution system for electricity, the distribution transformer plays an important role. For instance, the reliability of power that is supplied to the customers greatly depends on the performance and efficiency of it. This means that its failure can lead to undesirable blackouts which affect the economic activities of the customers that are being supplied by such a transformer. Thus, the distribution transformer is not an expensive asset but also a valuable one on the distribution system and it must be always protected against such failures that might end up causing such catastrophes. These distribution transformers are protected by methods that involve use of surge arrestors to protect them against surge voltages due to lightning and switching actions and the fuse drop outs that are located on the tee-off structure at the beginning of the line. The secondary side, which is the low voltage side, has protective devices such as circuit breakers and low voltage fuses which do operate to isolate the transformer in case of overloading. The current trend monitoring trend for some of the transformer operating parameters such as current, voltage, level of oil and temperature of the distribution transformer through the use phase meters for voltage and current, thermometer for transformer temperature and the oil level meter for monitoring the level of oil in the transformer. Our proposed idea presents design and implementation of a remote monitoring system to monitor load currents, over voltage, transformer oil level and oil temperature as well as the health of protection devices like fuses and surge arresters. The remote monitoring system integrates Global Service Mobile (GSM) Modem and GPS, with single chip microcontroller and sensors. It is installed at the distribution transformer site. The output values of sensors are to be processed and recorded in the system memory. System programmed with some predefined instructions to check abnormal conditions. If there is any abnormality on the system, the GSM module will send SMS (Short Message Service) messages to designated mobile telephones containing information about the abnormality according to the aforesaid predefined instructions. This system will be an advanced step to the automation by diminishing human dependency. As it is a wireless communicating system, there is no need of large cables which are of high cost. Thus, TPMS offers a more improved transformer monitoring.