Reduced Model for the Thermo-Fluid Dynamic Analysis of a Power Transformer working in ONAF mode

Luciano Garelli, Gustavo Ríos Rodríguez, Mario A. Storti, Daniel Granata, Mauro Amadei, Marcelo Rossetti


This work introduces an extension of the semi-analytical reduced model presented in G. Ríos Rodriguez, App Thermal Eng, 112:1271–1280 (2016); with the aim of analyzing the thermo-fluid dynamic behavior of a power transformer radiator working in ONAF (Oil Natural Air Forced) mode, considering vertical blowing of the fans. The objective of this research paper is the development of a numerical tool to be used during the design process of power transformers in order to obtain more detailed information about the radiators performance, either they are working in ONAF or ONAN (Oil Natural Air Natural) mode. Since it is observed both in the experimental measurements and in the numerical simulations that not all the radiator panels are blown by a single fan, the reduced model here presented considers a mixed situation wherein the heat is removed by natural convection in a fraction of the radiator while in the rest the heat is removed by forced convection. As a consequence, besides adding to the set of conservation equations introduced in G. Ríos Rodriguez, App Thermal Eng, 112:1271– 1280 (2016); those corresponding to the momentum and energy balance for considering forced heat convection transfer, there appears the need of introducing additional equations for coupling the natural and forced heat convection transfer models. The reduced model developed in this work is applied to estimate different characteristic parameters of a power transformer radiator working in ONAF mode, like the oil flow rate, dissipated power, outlet and inlet oil temperatures, among others. The computed results are compared to those obtained by CFD simulations and experimental measurements carried out on an ad-hoc workbench for validation purposes. It is found that the reduced model reproduces with acceptable accuracy the values of the most important design variables at a very low computation cost. In this manner, it can be considered as a reliable and valuable tool in the design of power transformers, allowing to carry out parametric studies.

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