Transformer failures can create significant business losses.

Transformer Failure

The generator step-up transformer (GSU) is a critical piece of equipment in the power generation process, serving the vital function of increasing the voltage from the plant to the grid standard. GSU failures are often sudden and unexpected, and the resulting damage to the equipment can be catastrophic. Suitable replacements are usually unavailable and manufacturing a new unit requires considerable lead time. As a consequence, the recovery period after a transformer failure can be lengthy, extending from a period of many months, up to and exceeding a year. During that recovery period, either the generating unit or potentially the entire power plant, will be unable to earn revenue from electricity generation. This results in significant financial losses for both the generator and their insurers.

A GSU is often the largest single point of failure at a power plant due to the critical function of a GSU, the lengthy recovery time and the high daily loss values.

Until now, owners of power generation facilities were normally faced with the difficult decision to either spend a significant amount of money, upwards of US $5 million or more, on a spare piece of equipment that may not be used for many years, or to risk operating without a spare and risk tens of millions of dollars in a loss to both the owner and their insurers. Now it is possible to rely on the AES Spare Transformer Fleet and avoid both the high initial investment in a spare and the high potential loss risk of operating without a spare.

The AES Spare Transformer Fleet can dramatically reduce the recovery time required in transformer failures down from 6-18 months to 8-10 weeks. Generation facilities can be brought back online quickly, with the potential to save millions of dollars in losses. Learn more about our spare transformer fleet in the Recovery Capabilities section.