School of
Information Technology and Electrical Engineering

The Australasian Transformer Innovation Centre is working closely with industry to develop the technologies that will significantly reduce transformer life cycle costs.

Our current primary research areas are:

  • Decreasing the risk of transformer failure during normal and contingency events
  • Reducing maintenance costs and extending life with improved condition monitoring
  • Investigating improved operation, performance and risks with natural ester oils
  • Increasing transformer utilisation and working transformers smarter
  • Examining effects of renewable generation on transformer life and cyclic rating

Research projects are organised into primary, secondary and tertiary tiers. The level of access for industry is based on their membership type (Platinum or Gold), and based on their commercial arrangement, detailed below.

  • The Primary research program addresses broad industry needs and is funded from membership contributions. Both platinum and gold membership have access to the IP generated by these projects for their internal use. Sub-licensing or commercialization rights are subject to written agreement with The University of Queensland. Gold membership provides a royalty-free license to use IP for the duration of membership, whereas platinum provides a perpetual license.
  • A Secondary project is funded by cash contributions from members together with a successful research grant. Conditions are negotiated on a case-by-case basis. Typically, the IP generated will only be available to the participating organisations.
  • Tertiary projects are fully funded by parties, to meet their specific objectives. Conditions are negotiated on a case-by-case basis. The project will be confidential and the IP generated will only be available to the participating organisations.


Optimizing network ratings for power transformers retrofilled with vegetable oil (part of the primary research program)

When parts of the network become overloaded the utility has a certain time to switch load to other substations, evening out this high load which helps prevent disruption to the consumer and the premature ageing of assets. The time to respond is obviously related to how quickly a transformer becomes too hot. Vegetable oil dielectrics are known to have lesser cooling abilities than mineral oils, however paper insulation ages slower in vegetable oil. Consequently, in this laboratory-based investigation the test power transformer is used to investigate the thermal limits a utility applies to their asset fleet, to determine whether changes are required to their existing policies on how quickly they must switch load.

Project timeline is September 2017 until December 2018.


If you would like to find out more about our research, please contact us.