Service Life Estimation of Photovoltaic Plant Transformers under Non-Linear Loads

B. A. Thango, J. A. Jordaan, A. F. Nnachi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


South Africa has achieved a substantial amount in the country's energy generation capacity through distributed photovoltaic systems. A much-discussed hindrance on this development has been related to the rich penetration of harmonics and distortion in the connected transformers, which drives a temperature rise and generation of hotspots in the active part components. In this paper, the loss components of a 15MVA transformer that governs its performance under non-linear loads are examined. Finite Element Method is used as a method to evaluate the transformer losses under these conditions. Subsequently, the generated hotspot temperature and remaining service life of the transformer are evaluated. In this paper, an effort is made to illustrate how a transformer manufacturer can predict the remaining service lifetime under various loads for solar photovoltaic application. Findings indicate that when the plant loading is gradually increasing during service, utility owners may contemplate replacing existing transformer with a higher MVA rating.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2020 IEEE PES/IAS PowerAfrica, PowerAfrica 2020
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
ISBN (Electronic)9781728167466
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2020
Externally publishedYes
Event7th Annual IEEE PES/IAS PowerAfrica Conference, PowerAfrica 2020 - Virtual, Nairobi, Kenya
Duration: 25 Aug 202028 Aug 2020

Publication series

Name2020 IEEE PES/IAS PowerAfrica, PowerAfrica 2020


Conference7th Annual IEEE PES/IAS PowerAfrica Conference, PowerAfrica 2020
CityVirtual, Nairobi


  • Harmonics and distortion
  • Renewable energy
  • Temperature rise and service life
  • Transformer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Service Life Estimation of Photovoltaic Plant Transformers under Non-Linear Loads'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this