What's On

  • Session 1: Theory and Testing
  • Session 2: Design for voltage withstand and short-circuit
  • Session 3: Specifications
  • Session 4: Maintenance and Failures 

Session 1: Theory and Testing

  • Setting the scene: The experience of two customers in achieving remarkable results via specification improvements and actively working with transformer manufacturers.
  • What is a transformer? The black box approach, and transformer testing.
  • Testing in service. What are the most useful tests?
  • Some ideas from basic transformer theory. But done differently. Leakage flux and magnetising current.
  • Connections symbols and non-uniform insulation
  • An overview of construction ideas, starting with centre entry design

Session 2: Design for voltage withstand  and short-circuit

  • Design for voltage withstand, impulse and freedom from discharge. Understanding paper versus oil and long gaps.
  • Design for short-circuit (you have to take an interest, because this is not typically proven by test)

Session 3: Specifications

  • Air bags (and proof that they work)
  • Temperature rise limits, including core, frames and metalwork. Verification.
  • Specifying tap range and overflux
  • Loss capitalisation
  • How serious do you want to be about corrosion and oil leaks?
  • Do you want your protection CTs to work through a fault?  Setting short time ratings.
  • Other little things. Thermally upgraded paper? Bushing mounting and use of stainless steel. O-rings or gaskets?
  • How short can you make your specification? How do you handle non-conformances?

Session 4: Maintenance and Failures

  • DGA. Not all the fine detail, but how do you use it wisely? Is the air bag working?
  • The hidden dangers of N-1.
  • What do you want spares for?
  • Mid-life refurbishment? Internal inspection?  Paper samples? Reclamp?
  • Bushing replacements. Understanding draw-leads, “rockets”, insulated leads. Semiconducting paper?
  • Silver Sulphide and Copper Sulphide  (and some failure examples). What are the immediate actions when a transformer fails?


Mr. Michael O’Brien – Transformer Engineer, Senior Expert, GE Grid Solutions

Mr. Michael O’Brien was previously Electrical Engineering Manager for the Alstom transformer factory in Rocklea, Queensland. He has since worked for the GE service business  in Australia. He strongly believes that knowledge protects us from mistakes, and diverse people from different backgrounds are better at solving problems than like-minded groups. If you understand something, you should be able to explain it to others so well that they can even pick your mistakes! So Michael is very committed to sharing knowledge. It is a two way street.


TIC members –  Free                                                       
Only TIC members register by emailing transformer@itee.uq.edu.au with course title(s)/name/email/company/and contact phone.

Non TIC member – Cost $100AUD (incl 10%GST)              
Non TIC Member Online Registration

TIC members – Free
Non TIC members – Cost $200 (incl 10% GST


Australasian Transformer Innovation Centre