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A power transformer is a complex apparatus with windings, core, tap-changer, bushings etc., designed and manufactured for many years of operation in a power system.

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SINTEF has know-how and runs projects in the transformer technology field; spanning from development and testing of materials for manufacturers, ageing performance, condition monitoring and life estimation, to analysis of interaction between power systems and transformers. A big challenge for the utilities is asset management of ageing transformer fleets.

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SINTEF's projects cover the topics from materials research, condition monitoring and testing to modelling of transformer properties and it interaction with connected grids.

Photo: Owe Stubberud, Statnett


  • Ageing performance of cellulose insulation
  • Characterization of dielectric liquids
  • Condition monitoring like e.g. partial discharge measurement, acoustic defect location, frequency response, dielectric response, oil tests etc.
  • Measurement and modelling of losses
  • Building terminal equivalents for EMTP analysis
  • Analysis of surge stress, resonances, in-rush currents
  • Fire- and explosion hazards
  • Thermal modelling
  • Geomagnetic ally induced currents in transformers
  • Life estimation
  • Health indexes
  • Scrapping and failure investigations


  • A research project addresses dielectric properties of liquids, modelling of breakdown channel propagation and applying ultra-rapid imaging of prebreakdown phenomena.
  • A research project on thermal modelling of transformers is about to start. In the innovation side one project addresses health indexes and life estimation for transformers.


Electrotechnical laboratories

Electrotechnical laboratories

SINTEF Energy Research operates laboratories for high voltage, high power and climatic testing. Customers are manufacturers, suppliers and users of electric power equipment.