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Data Management of Your Test Data

DGA Expert System Software

Now that the "Information Super Highway" is upon us, you might be feeling a bit behind the times if you’re not yet tracking your test data through the computer and software. Fear not, many customers still manage the "paper mill" of laboratory test reports. For most though, there exists a point where data tracking is not only desirable, but a necessary requirement for a properly managed transformer maintenance program. Depending upon the extent for your involvement in the test data and its interpretation, data handling and tracking can range from a simple word processor document to quite complex, analytical diagnostic software now offered in the industry.


The type of management system you ultimately follow depends upon the following factors:
  • The level of data tracking and interpretation you require,
  • Cost factors, and
  • Your time and willingness to learn the peculiarities and demands of a new software package.

    Word Processors

    Let’s start at the beginning with a simple word processor type of tracking system. Your file header might look something like this:

    DateEquipment No.Serial No.BankPhaseVoltage ClassTotalGasTDCGHYDROGEN...

    Many will find this method of tracking to be an adequate system. However, except for the customary scheduling of maintenance and sampling intervals, there is not much in the way of data management that be accomplished with this type of tracking system.


    Spreadsheet programs such as Microsoft Excel, Borland’s QuatrroPro, or whatever spreadsheet program your company accountant might be using, offers the next step in data tracking. Clearly, this is the friendliest and most cost effective means of data tracking. To start, ask your laboratory to supply you with your test data in a file format compatible with one of these spreadsheet programs. You need to tell them which data fields you desire to track such as equipment number, serial number, gas count, moisture, etc. Again as with the word processor system, you need a header at the top of each file.

    High Point Sub04059534456671/1540.10.055L0.5Clear350.86870.0567...
    Ridge Way Sub050695262094-98-11/1634.60.5661.0Cloudy460.87770.0123...

    Now, with the spreadsheet’s sorting function you can rank your test data by any field. This is probably the most powerful feature of the spreadsheet which enables you to schedule by time intervals and note severity. Graphing is another powerful feature which of course gives you a graphical interface to your data. Skilled spreadsheet users can go the next step further and write diagnostic macros (mini-programs) which take your data and crunch it though several equations and filters to output meaningful diagnostic results. Since it offers so many advantages, many of our customers have utilized this method of data tracking.

    Industry Offerings

    Quite recently, dedicated software packages have come onto the market which perform many of the functions personnel require in transformer maintenance. Here two packages are introduced which may warrant your attention. Unfortunately, these packages are offered by our competitors. So until we develop our own particular software package, we have to refer you to these.

    Delta-X Research’s Analyst
    Transformer Oil Analysts an early warning system. It stores insulating fluid test data and automates commonly-used methods of fault detection and fault diagnosis. Fault diagnosis and trend analysis are supported by large collection of built-in graphs. The analysis standards, rules, and interpretive text are easily customized to support your particular operating conditions, policies, and engineering judgment. You can obtain more information on TOA, even download a slide presentation by visiting their web site at

    DTK is a database management system that facilitates the acquisition, analysis, maintenance and reporting of transformer data. For further information regarding DTK, contact Analytical ChemTech International at 916-455-2284 or