Iran Power Sector Needs to Catch Up in Maintenance and Repairs
EghtesadOnline: More than 700,000 transformers are used in the domestic power distribution network and according to statistics one-third are worn out and need to be replaced, a member of Iran Electricity Industry Syndicate said.
“As prices of transformers have shot up 2.5 times compared to last year, replacing all the old and aging devices will cost $615 million,” ILNA reported Arash Aqaeifar as saying.
A distribution transformer provides the final voltage transformation in the electric power distribution system. It converts the voltage used in the transmission lines to one suitable for household and commercial use, typically down to 220 volts.
However, the IEIS member noted that the Energy Ministry cannot afford the new transformers as it already owes $1.6 billion to private contractors in unpaid bills, according to Financial Tribune.
He said that the ministry’s priority is not buying new transformers, so instead of replacing the old transformers, provincial electricity distribution companies should come up with solutions such as modern maintenance procedures, status monitoring and repairs according to global standards.
The current maintenance plans have not worked as expected because machinery and equipment is usually allowed to be used up to breaking point and then repairs are undertaken, he complained.
“This policy must be rewritten and instead condition-based maintenance should be employed,” Aqaeifar said.
Condition-based maintenance is a maintenance policy that monitors the actual condition of an asset to decide what maintenance needs to be done. CBM dictates that maintenance should only be performed when certain indicators show signs of decreasing performance or upcoming failure.
“Employing such measures will reduce costs in the long run and help reduce power loss in the distribution network”.
Referring to locally-made distribution transformers, he said: “Foreign engineers and power experts who visit factories in Iran say the country has the ability to manufacture a variety of such devices in compliance with global standards. Where we do need improvement is in the repair sector.”
He noted that it is rather regrettable that much of the repair work on transmission equipment is carried out in non-standard workshops that do not have the required standards and do not carry out stringent tests to ensure the quality of the repairs. This has led to high level of accidents.
The average life of repaired transformers is uncappetbly low, he said, and added that a repaired transformer that has passed appropriate testing procedures should not be different from a new one.