Checking oil levels in transformers with Portatank

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Identifying a method of how best to check transformer oil level has been an ever present for power distribution. Our Director of Sales, George Hunter shares an exciting update about our Portatank industrial tank level indicator.

“For many years, Coltraco Ultrasonics have been leading the world in non-invasive level technologies for a huge variety of different applications; but this does not mean we don’t come across unique challenges we have never seen before!

Quite close to the top of our ‘To Solve’ list for years has been the ability to check the Oil levels in Transformers.

How to check transformer oil level is correct is particularly critical. If transformers are opened for maintenance and the oil has leaked away, this can put workers at serious risk of harm and even death.

Every few years customers all over the world come to us an ask if it is possible to adapt our Portalevel Technologies, to check a variety of oil levels in transformers. Whilst we are very familiar with checking liquids inside containers, this always provided a unique challenge.

Square containers are not particularly conducive to some of our technologies, having dense machinery inside the liquid being measured means other methods cannot be used and the sheer variety and countless different Transformer designs and models made it very difficult indeed to provide one unit which can provide a reliable solution for all customers.

We recently launched the Portatank unit which can locate the oil level inside any transformer.

By using the Portatank, users can quickly check form the outside of the transformer, if all the oil is at the correct level inside and thus if it is safe to open. Just a few seconds test can drastically reduce the risk to maintenance crews! We have now tested this device on customer sites on transformers and were astonished with the results! Very accurate, quick and with completely clean technology, does not interfere with the equipment in any way.This is by far the most flexible and adaptable unit we have ever produced. It was designed with the primary aim of making a unit where the same platform could be used for countless different applications.

  • In order to make this work, we had to make a unit with 4 different frequencies,
  • highly adaptable power settings,
  • the ability to work on a wide range of container wall thicknesses and
  • the ability to integrate with Oscilloscopes for complex application setups.

Whilst this may sound complex, once the unit has been calibrated to each application, the actual process to check transformer oil level is the work of seconds! The setup process only needs to be done once per application and from there, the settings will be identical every time the same application needs to be tested.[contact-form-7 id=”401″]

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Coltraco Ultrasonics
NETPark Research Institute
Joseph Swan Road
TS21 3FB

United Kingdom


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Tel (Sales & HQ): +44 20 7629 8475
Tel (Technical): +44 1740 618 240