NABL Accreditation: Crucial for Transformer Oil Testing

A transformer can be defined as a power delivering equipment that functions in the internal environment, leading to substantial heat production. So, it becomes important to restrict the flow of power through the transformer for the functioning of equipment. This leads to the need for both insulators and coolant devices for operation. Therefore, transformer oil is the one important component in the power devices which results in the protected and easy functioning of the equipment.

While operating, the transformer oil undergoes electrical, thermal, and mechanical stresses. As it operates in high temperatures, the oil is contaminated by chemical interactions with windings & other solid insulation. This results in deterioration leaving the insulating oil ineffective.

Therefore, the transformer oil must be tested regularly to determine if it is suitable for continuous use. These tests are further classified into Electrical, Chemical, and Physical tests to determine the oil’s quality.

The majority of utilities test the transformer oil by in-house test equipment or testing it with the help of 3rd party contractor. While conducting this testing the updated oil testing standards and practices are left unconsidered.

The major concerns while testing by non-accredited methods are-

  • Whether the operator is performing the test as per test criteria mentioned by statutory bodies like IS, ANSI & IEC 
  • Test equipment is properly calibrated as per IS standards ensuring that consumer security and no deceptive practices are considered.
  • While performing the tests climatic & physical conditions are vital to be monitored and recorded as they impact test results.

The above-mentioned conditions for transformer oil testing are not necessarily considered in a non-accredited lab. Because of non-standardized methods, conducted test results largely differ from the actual values. Therefore the test results change from actual results by many parameters like misconduct of test procedure, presence of moisture content, non-calibrated equipment, etc. Hence, every transformer oil should be tested by the NABL accredited test lab. 

The purpose of the NABL is to provide a third-party assessment to ensure excellent quality and technical competence of testing and calibration laboratories, which enables the government and the industry to streamline and maintain the standardized quality environment. 

NABL accreditation is based on the evaluation of technical competence whereas ISO certification is based upon verification of proper documentation and periodic audits.


Why should every oil test report have NABL accredition?

  • Most oil test laboratories are distant from each other and operate in isolation and result from these labs aren’t compared, this leads to the results with errors, biases, or significant differences when compared to results from other similar laboratories. 
  • Proficiency testing provides an opportunity to undertake such oil test result comparisons and to have an independent appraisal of the laboratory’s test results compared to reference values or the performance of similar laboratories. 

The results from such participation provide laboratory managers with either a confirmation that the laboratory’s performance is satisfactory or an alert that an investigation of potential problems within the laboratory is required.

  • Comparison of the test results with other (Non-NABL lab) test results 
  • Monitoring & Prediction of the long-term performance of transformer oil.
  • Improvement in the performance of oil tests/calibrations following investigation and identification of the cause(s) of unsatisfactory performance, and the introduction of corrective action to prevent re-occurrence
  • Staff education, training, and competence monitoring by NABL report analysis
  • Evaluation of methods, including the establishment of method precision and accuracy of oil test results
  • Contribution to the facility’s overall risk management system by Oil NABL test result analysis 

Proficiency testing providers play an important role in the value chain for the assurance of products and services. Being a NABL accredited PTP following ISO/IEC 17043 proves the credibility of the organization for its PT services.

Motwane with its 60-year experience in electrical testing now owns a NABL Accredited Oil Testing Laboratory, being a part of an expert engineering legacy, our lab assures reliability and accuracy of test results. 

We ensure the report is sent to the customer within 48 Hr of the sample received. We ensure to maintain long data on behalf of customers for the individual oil test on our MOTWARE platform. 

Our well-equipped lab with NABL accreditation & our team of expert oil analysts ensure that our customers receive better insights on transformer oil conditions, be it mineral oil, silicone oil, or ester oil. This helps in making better decisions for maintenance, keeping the system free from hazards with ideal accuracy.

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