As a crucial part of the traction chain, the onboard traction transformer adapts the electrical voltage from the overhead power lines to the lower voltage levels needed within the traction chain. It also feeds auxiliary converters for other electrical systems like lighting, heating, and/or onboard information systems.
If the traction transformer fails, the planned train traffic schedule may be disturbed and leads to passenger inconvenience, and even costly penalties may be incurred.
Scope of work
A traction transformer is highly reliable and designed to perform under harsh conditions. However, to prevent unpredicted failure and ensure a long lifetime, some services are advised during the whole life cycle.
The operating conditions of a traction transformer differ highly from power transformers. Therefore the interpretation of condition checks has to be done by traction experts; otherwise, misleading results may occur.
Regular oil analysis gives a good image of the actual health. Additionally, basic and advanced diagnostic tests can provide further information.
If an onboard traction transformer gets damaged by an accident or due to other reasons, we are able to fully repair the traction transformer by replacing damaged parts of the core, winding reclamping, partial or full winding replacement, and repair of the tank. At the end of such work, all electrical routine tests are done.
During the long lifetime of a vehicle, some operational conditions change. Upgrading or replacing some parts of the traction transformer can help ensure further operation.
A midlife overhaul is recommended to ensure reliability in the second half of the lifetime. All traction transformers are systematically checked and maintained by replacing parts with lower lifetime expectancy.