Enhancement of the Thermal Performance Characteristics of an Electrical Power Transformer
A 3D numerical simulation was conducted to test the effects of the geometrical and operational parameters on the cooling performance of a three-phase electrical distribution transformer (250 kVA oil natural air natural (ONAN)). The geometric parameters include the shape of the transformer (rectangular, circular, and hexagonal), fins shape (rectangular, semicircular, and trapezoidal) as well it arrangement (asymmetric fin heights and perforated fins). Both of oil temperature and thermal load have been used as boundary conditions. In order to verify the reliability of the numerical model, comparison between numerical results and experimental finding has been done. The results have indicated that the circular and hexagonal shapes reduced the average oil temperature by 3.4% and 4.7%, respectively, compared to the traditional transformer shape (rectangular). Furthermore, the lowest average oil temperature was observed for the trapezoidal fin, followed by the rectangular and semicircular fins. Additionally, it has been noticed that the asymmetric fin heights of the trapezoidal and perforated trapezoidal fins been contributed to the improvement of the cooling performance of the transformer. Furthermore, the best thermal performance was obtained with the trapezoidal perforated fin to compared other arrangement of fins. Finally, the highest reduction in oil has been obtained by the use of hexagonal transformer with a perforated trapezoidal fin approximately by 12% compared to traditional rectangular transformer. Hence, it can be concluded that the shape of the transformer and fins play an important role in thermal performance of such systems.