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The Reliable Life of a Transformer

Adopting a MaxLife Philosophy will maximize the reliable life of a transformer

When we flip the switch, we assume the power will come on—and stay on.

It did yesterday. It will today. It will tomorrow. We can rely on that, right?

Our assumption that the electrical power system is reliable—that it comes on and stays on—is based on our confidence in the electrical power equipment, components, and distribution system to perform its intended function without failure. This assumption, backed by our confidence in the system, means we don’t think twice about whether or not it will work. It’s out of sight and out of mind. That transformer sitting out back will continue to hum and supply all the power we need. It did yesterday. It will today. It will tomorrow… Until it doesn’t.

The risks related to electrical transformer failures are real and costly. Because nearly every commercial or industrial company uses power to produce something, any unexpected interruption to that power and the unplanned downtime that results is deemed unacceptable. The price tag of unreliability is incredibly high, which makes our effort to maximize the reliable life of an electrical power system critically important—never to be out of sight or out of mind.

Therefore, our goal should be to maximize the health and reliability of the electrical power system, which starts at the heart of the system: the transformer. And a healthy transformer is one that is optimized to reach its maximum reliable life. This is achieved through the execution of a long-term strategy based on standards, testing, and best practices. This is what we call having a MaxLife Philosophy.

The MaxLife Philosophy focuses on optimizing transformer lifecycle management. It’s about creating benchmarks that exceed expectations and surpass industry standards. From the first oil test to ongoing testing, monitoring, servicing, inspecting, and maintenance best practices, everything is focused on maximizing the reliable life of the transformer.

The origins of the MaxLife Philosophy are found in the story of Stanley D. Myers and the founding of SDmyers. From the beginning in 1967, Stanley D. Myers led the way in valuing the ideas of stewardship, responsibility, and technical excellence when it comes to maximizing the life of a transformer. His goal was to help customers spend the least in the short-term to get the maximum long-term value possible for their electrical power equipment. As a pioneer in the industry, SDMyers established much of what we have today regarding transformer maintenance, testing, and lifecycle management.

A well-maintained and serviced transformer can last over half a century—humming and supplying all the uninterrupted power we need. That comes from adopting a MaxLife Philosophy that employs best practices for transformer maintenance. With that in place, we have vital knowledge about the condition of our equipment, which leads to wise decision-making to provide a low-cost, reliable electric power system.

Take a deeper dive

Here are a few resources to dive deeper into the topic of MaxLife Philosophy and the reliability of transformers:

Risk & Reliability of Transformers

7 Challenges to Overcome in Developing Electrical System Reliability

Establish Electrical System Reliability

January 11, 2023
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