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The paper investigates three different ways of using the transfer function method for detecting mechanical winding displacements in power transformers. The most reliable approach is time-based comparison , which requires finger print data from a previous measurement. Such information is, however, usually not available. For multilegged transformers without zigzag-connected windings the results of separately tested legs can be used as mutual references (construction-based comparison ). A third approach is to compare the transfer functions with those obtained from an identically constructed transformer ( type-based comparison). However, for a transformer with given nominal specification data, the winding design may over time undergo changes which causes changes to the transfer function. It is proposed to solve this problem by calculating tolerance bands using transfer functions from a big group of the same-type transformers. A novel statistical algorithm for this purpose is presented. The approach is demonstrated for a set of 28 specified identically 200-MVA power transformers.