Modeling and simulation of power transformer tank deformation and rupture

Chenguang Yan, Zhiguo Hao, Baohui Zhang, Tao Zheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Power transformer tank bulging, rupture, even explosion occurs from time to time when suffering internal short-circuit faults. The resulting disasters such as oil spray and fire greatly jeopardize the safety of nearby staffs, apparatus and public environment. In order to reveal the mechanism of abrupt oil pressure increase and successive tank deformation and rupture inside the transformer, this work describes this complex process with two separate stages, i.e. fault pressure and tank stress. The model and corresponding solution of each stage is provided respectively. Firstly, the transformer fault pressure model, tank transient mechanical model and pressure-mechanical field coupling model are introduced. Based on the law of energy conservation, the relationship among the fault energy, oil pressure and stress is interpreted. Secondly, a 3D finite element model is built for a 360 MV·A/220 kV power transformer. In addition, the stress-strain relationship of the tank wall is described by employing a multi-linear isotropic hardening model. Thirdly, the distribution and variation of the internal fault pressure and stress in the transformer tank wall are simulated and analyzed for a variety of fault locations and severities. The simulation results show that some positive correlations exist among the fault energy, oil pressure amplitude and tank stress. It is also found that countermeasures, such as rapid fault clearance and reinforcements for the stress concentration area, are helpful to improve tank's capability of overpressure endurance and to reduce the risk of oil spray, fire, tank explosion and other secondary disasters.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)180-187
Number of pages8
JournalDiangong Jishu Xuebao/Transactions of China Electrotechnical Society
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 10 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Abrupt oil pressure increase
  • Finite element model simulation
  • Internal short circuit faults
  • Power transformer
  • Tank deformation and rupture


Dive into the research topics of 'Modeling and simulation of power transformer tank deformation and rupture'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this