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Article RSE 15002044

An optical platform for furfural detection in trasformer oil

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Sensors Journal, IEEE 978-1-4799-8591-3/15/$31.00 ©2015 IEEE2015.

N. Cennamo (Università di Napoli), L. Zeni (Università di Napoli), L. De Maria (RSE SpA), G. D Agostino (Università di Pavia), M. Pesavento (Università di Pavia)

MON4-GRID 2015 - Management, monitoring and control of the transmission grid

The paper reports preliminary results about feasibility assessment of an optical sensor developed for an early detection of accelerated degradation of the insulating oil system in transformers.

Today’s main challenges for Electrical Utilities are either the aging of existing equipment and tight operating and maintenance costs. The availability of rapid, reliable and low-cost diagnostic tools are thus very important to provide an early warning on failures of electrical equipment both to promptly manage these situations and in view of more targeted and efficient Asset management strategies. At this aim this paper concerns the development of an optical sensor for an early detection of accelerated degradation of the insulating oil system in transformers.

A Molecularly Imprinted Polymer (MIP) has been used as an artificial receptor in connection with Surface Plasmon Resonance (SPR) transduction in Plastic Optical Fiber (POF) for the high selective detection of small molecules in oil-filled power transformer.

In particular, the proposed sensor has been experimentally tested for the detection of furfural (furan-2-carbaldehyde), so that a MIP specific for this substance has been developed and implemented. Main results of tests with this SPR sensor confirm the good performance of this particular kind of synthetic receptor, in view of the fact that the sample matrix here considered is the transformer oil.

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