Applying Unsupervised Machine Learning Method on FRA Data to Classify Winding Types

  • Xiaozhou Mao
  • Shuntao Ji
  • Zhongdong WangEmail author
  • Paul Jarman
  • Andrew Fieldsend-Roxborough
  • Gordon Wilson
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Electrical Engineering book series (LNEE, volume 598)


Over the years utilities have accumulated a large number of measured FRA data whilst the transformers’ design information such as winding types may or may not necessarily be known. Different winding types own different equivalent electrical parameters, i.e. capacitance and inductance. For instance, the interleaved winding has higher series capacitance whilst the plain disc winding has lower series capacitance. As a result, unalike features are caused at specific frequency ranges of FRA. Consequently it is possible to correlate FRA characteristics with known design features. Hierarchical clustering is an unsupervised machine learning algorithm that groups similar objects together. In this paper, using the National Grid FRA database as an example, winding types are identified by Hierarchical Clustering method through grouping similar FRA data. In addition, a pre-processing technique called Dynamic Time Warping (DTW) is used to scale frequencies with the same FRA features before applying Hierarchical Clustering, and this has been proved to be the most suitable unsupervised machine learning methods to classify winding types. National Grid has been retiring transformers, and each transformer retired would go through forensic examination and knowledge acquired can then be used for asset management. Same faults may occur to same winding types and result in similar distortions of FRA features. With the technique employed in this paper, in combination with expertise knowledge and forensic information accumulated, the utility will be able to develop a strategy to manage similar type of transformers and achieve effective asset management.


Power transformers FRA Transformer windings Classification Machine learning 


  1. 1.
    Sofian, D.M., Wang, Z.D., Jayasinghe, S.B.: Frequency response analysis in diagnosing transformer winding movements – fundamental understandings. In: 39th International Universities Power Engineering Conference, 2004. UPEC 2004, Bristol, UK, vol. 1, pp. 138–142 (2004)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    IEC-International Electrotechnical Commission: Power transformers - Part 18: measurement of frequency response. IEC 60076-18 (2012)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Wang, Z.D., Li, J., Sofian, D.M.: Interpretation of transformer FRA responses—Part I: influence of winding structure. IEEE Trans. Power Delivery 24(2), 703–710 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Sofian, D.M., Wang, Z.D., Li, J.: Interpretation of transformer FRA responses—Part II: influence of transformer structure. IEEE Trans. Power Delivery 25(4), 2582–2589 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Ang, S.P., Li, J., Wang, Z., Jarman, P.: FRA low frequency characteristic study using duality transformer core modeling. In: 2008 International Conference on Condition Monitoring and Diagnosis, Beijing, pp. 889–893 (2008)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Mao, X., Wang, Z., Wang, Z., Jarman, P.: Accurate estimating algorithm of transfer function for transformer FRA diagnosis. In: 2018 IEEE Power Engineering Society General Meeting, Portland, OR (2018)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Mao, X., Wang, Z.D., Jarman, P., Roxborough, A.: Winding type recognition through supervised machine learning using frequency response analysis (FRA) data. In: 2019 ICEMPE, Guangzhou, China (2019)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Ward, J.H.: Hierarchical grouping to optimize an objective function. J. Am. Stat. Assoc. 58(301), 236–244 (1963)MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Sakoe, H., Chiba, S.: Dynamic programming algorithm optimization for spoken word recognition. IEEE Trans. Acoust. Speech Signal Process. 26(1), 43–49 (1978)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The University of ManchesterManchesterUK
  2. 2.National Grid CompanyWarwickUK

Personalised recommendations