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Forensic Examination and Failure Analysis of a 220 MV Step-Up Transformer Fire

[+] Author Affiliations
Zuhair Ibrahim, Jeremiah Stepan, Ali Reza, Daren Slee

Exponent, Failure Analysis Associates, Los Angeles, CA

Paper No. IMECE2013-62638, pp. V015T12A002; 6 pages
  • ASME 2013 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 15: Safety, Reliability and Risk; Virtual Podium (Posters)
  • San Diego, California, USA, November 15–21, 2013
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5644-4
  • Copyright © 2013 by ASME


The paper presents the results of investigation and engineering analysis by Exponent of the failure of a 220 MVA generator step-up transformer in Southern California. The incident was caused by a dielectric breakdown from the high side phase C bushing to the side wall of the transformer. The ensuing fire continued for 27 hours, fueled by approximately 11,000 gallons of dielectric HYTRANS 61 oil. The paper will discuss the investigation, conducted per the IEEE C57.125 “Guide for Failure Investigation, Documentation, and Analysis for Power Transformers and Shunt Reactors.” [1], and the engineering review and analysis to identify the likely failure scenario(s).

Copyright © 2013 by ASME



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