School of
Information Technology and Electrical Engineering

Speaker: Muhammad Abdul Hafeez Ansari
Seminar Date: Wed, 14/02/2018 - 10:00
Venue: 49-502; AEB Seminar Room
Host: Prof Tapan Saha

Seminar Type:  PhD Confirmation Seminar


Transformers are one of the most expensive and critical equipment in electrical power transmission and distribution network. The reliability of this asset is vital for the secure operation of an electrical network. There are several important parameters that indicate the health of a transformer and one of the well-known parameter is moisture in its insulation system. The presence of high moisture is a serious concern and is the root cause of several faults occurring in transformers. The presence of moisture accelerates cellulose ageing, decreases bubble inception temperature, decreases loading capability and reduces dielectric strength. Apparently, this shortens the life of equipment and adds an extra burden on the utility.

Fibre optics based sensors have long been used in the transformers since the 1980s for temperature measurement and utilities have developed a good confidence in using them. Nowadays, fibre optics based moisture measurement sensors are under development and their applications in various fields, mainly in civil, structural and medical, is being investigated. The fibre bragg grating sensors inscribed on optical fibre core is becoming a mature technology. Therefore, fibre optics based sensors could be useful for moisture estimation in transformers. The sensors have several advantages over other measurement techniques; they are low cost, light weight and small in size. They have no electromagnetic interference and can be placed close to winding/oil/paper insulation. Further, their ability to perform measurements online with several sensors on a single fibre optics cable makes them suitable for moisture measurement in transformers.

This research focuses on investigating the performance of sensors through several experiments and measuring the response at different humidity and temperature conditions. Initial testing will be performed in a controlled environment with different insulating mediums, as it is a possibility that oil chemistry will have an impact on sensor response. Later, the sensors will be tested in test transformers, where operating load and temperatures can be controlled. The testing of these sensors in an environment similar to field transformer will measure its true performance and robustness. It is expected that measurement performed with these sensors will be comparable with available techniques and can be beneficial for the utility and manufacturer to better optimize and maintain their assets against moisture.


Muhammad Abdul Hafeez Ansari received his B.E. from NED University of Engineering and Technology, Pakistan and M.Sc. from King Fahad University, Saudi Arabia in 2009 and 2015, respectively. Before joining here, he was working in the industry as a substation design engineer. Currently, he is a PhD candidate in the School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering at The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia. His research interests include condition-monitoring of power transformers and use of online moisture measurement techniques.