MEA speeds up power transformer inspection after fire outbreak in Sampeng Market

MEA speeds up power transformer inspection after fire outbreak in Sampeng Market

The Metropolitan Electricity Authority (MEA) is speeding up its operations to remove four power transformers that have the same specifications as the one that burst into flames in Bangkok’s Sampeng market with thorough inspections to boost public confidence.

Following the recent fire outbreak near Sampeng market, the Metropolitan Electricity Authority (MEA), led by Wilas Chaloeysat, MEA Governor, ordered the suspension of power transformers with the same specifications as the one that broke into fire and have them thoroughly inspected in order to build public confidence in accordance with the Ministry of Interior’s policy that prioritises public safety.

On July 5, 2022, a team of MEA officials was dispatched to detach two network transformers installed around Krung Kasem Road for a thorough check at the MEA office at Wat Lieb district. The move to remove the two other power transformers is underway and expected to be completed within 8 July 2022.

In accordance with its annual maintenance mission which covers any additional maintenance work required to ensure all power transformers meet engineering standards, MEA has been inspecting all 450 network transformers in inner city areas, including the Koh Rattanakosin area, Phra Nakhon district, using the Dissolved Gas Analysis (DGA) technique to search for abnormalities. Similar to blood testing in medical check-ups, the technique accurately measures levels of humidity, hydrogen, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, ethylene, ethane, methane and acethylene. With this technique, officers can remove dysfunctional power transformers and replace them with new ones immediately. The inspections commenced on July 1, 2022 and will be completed within August 2022.

The MEA is also forging ahead with safety inspections of some 67,000 power transformers in Bangkok, Nonthaburi and Samut Prakan using its ‘Standard Check’ method. In Phase 1, around 18,000 power transformers installed near local communities will be inspected using the DGA technique. The inspections are expected to be completed within four months.

These measures are all part of MEA’s urgent safety program and in addition to its regular annual maintenance program.

Thorough inspections of power transformers are conducted using the Thermo Scan method to search for any abnormal levels of heating systems and operation of protection systems in power transformers, including monitoring current values, electricity pressure, electrical connection points, and grounding systems to give a detailed evaluation of the efficiency of electrical flow in all power transformers.

Other areas of inspection include transformer lifespan for safety and installation of an Online Transformer Control and Monitoring System measuring current value, electrical pressure and electrical connection point performance, grounding system and overall optimisation of safety level throughout all power transformers operated by MEA.

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