When teaching about transformer testing, Robert Brusetti tells engineers to pay attention to the details and question inconsistencies, no matter how insignificant.

“The test data may not provide the answer but it offers a clue; learn the steps to arrive at the answer,” Brusetti said. “The industry is full of engineers who want to help. If they don’t know the answer they’ll likely want to participate in the process of arriving at a conclusion. If you decide to tolerate variation make sure you understand the significance and be able to explain how you arrived at your verdict.”

Brusetti is one of those engineers who wants to help. He is director of Client Service Engineering at Doble Engineering Company and is preparing to teach at Doble’s Life of a TransformerTM Seminar starting on Feb. 18 in San Diego, California. Throughout the week, students will learn what steps can be taken to ensure the longevity of their transformer. The field testing section of the program will focus on the diagnostic tool to assess the current state of the transformers. The nature of the tests reveals facets of the transformer that can be classified as either dielectric, thermal or mechanical. Some tests are capable of detecting very specific anomalies, while others offer a broad assessment of the transformer. The scope of this presentation is to consolidate the conventional test techniques, primarily focusing on electrical measurement, reviewing the objective of each test, identifying their capability and what would be some of the motives for performing the analysis.

“Financial implications and complexity of the asset are the primary reasons power transformers are viewed as the most critical component in the electric power system,” Brusetti said. “Field-testing provides engineers with a group of tools to assess the condition of the transformer and to identify problems and the level of criticality. Each test provides data to support decisions about the transformer. The early detection of problems can minimize the repairs involved and mitigate catastrophic failures.”

Brusetti maintains that sharing experiences is important and unique in the power industry. He said the same about his company. “The unique position of Doble Engineering Company in the industry is that Doble allows its engineers to participate in investigating/resolving issues as an unbiased third party. We have no vested interest in any particular outcome.”

He was first attracted to the power industry after his undergraduate work because it involved interaction with people of various backgrounds, different job settings, product life cycles measured in years, not days, and a certain amount of job stability. “Unfortunately my timing wasn’t the best as the industry was in the early stages of deregulation and there was some consolidation taking place, the ramifications of which we are still dealing with today,” Brusetti said. “My first two jobs were not in the power industry, but I persisted and came across Doble, which interestingly enough was only two miles from where I was living at the time.”

Now he has been at Doble for 20 years. He has held positions as product manager and field engineer. He has also been involved with on-line monitoring, specifically attempting to capture the same information as traditional off-line testing without taking the apparatus out of service. “The principal challenge has been distinguishing changes related to the apparatus from those system related,” he said.

While enjoying the interaction with people within Doble and the industry, as well as the learning experience, Brusetti also takes time for outdoor activities, “even when weather doesn’t cooperate.”