The Green Choice – Environment Friendly Transformers

Eco-friendly, Efficient and Economical – the new concept of Green Transformers is an answer to growing environmental concerns

Transformer is one of the most important and vital components in the power system. The increase of electric power demand and the high pressure to apply environment friendly solutions for transmission and distribution require new and innovative systems, products and technologies.

The Concept

In order to meet the current and future energy challenges, there is need for an energy efficient, market efficient, grid reliable and environment friendly technology.

The answer to these concerns came forward in Green Transformer concept that contains new technologies and materials in respect of sealing, cooling and insulating, switching (tap changer) as well as control and predictive monitoring linked to Smart Grid technologies.

Thus, all the constituent parts of the new, innovative and environment friendly technologies lead to limited aging and higher lifetime as well as drastically reduced maintenance and lower life cycle costs.

In conventional transformer design, the HV and LV windings are immerged in a metal tank with sufficient cooling capacity to keep the temperature inside the tank within limit. Mineral oil is used in conventional transformer design which comes from natural resources after processing of the mother earth raw materials taken from mines.

Modern technology and innovations are helping society to extract oil from various vegetable seeds which are of similar property and otherwise is a waste or remains as an extracted by products. Though, the conventional transformers can also be easily designed with vegetable oils which can be termed as Green Transformers. Natural ester oils are very well accepted solution in this regard.

A Green Power Transformer is a sustainable, eco-efficient product with one or more of the following functionalities:

  • Filled with ester oil instead of mineral oil
  • Hermetically-sealed tank design, equipped with patented expandable radiators and OLTC with vacuum switch
  • Innovative technologies to reduce acoustic energy transferred and optimise design of the active part
  • Optimised low loss levels
  • On-line MS3000 monitoring system

Key Advantages:

The concept of “Green Transformers” offers a new alternative to customers who want to preserve the environment by offering a lower carbon footprint, limited pollution risk and optimised life cycle costs and less maintenance. Other advantages include reduced ageing, lower noise levels and increased fire safety. To further maximise operational management and prevent faults and damages, advanced on-line monitoring systems can also be added.

Noise reduction : Environmental benefits include reduced noise levels to limit disturbance in urban or ecologically sensitive areas. Noise level reduction above 10 dB (A) is made possible due to selection of high-performance materials and equipment, optimised design of active parts and innovative mechanical structures.

Increased safety and reliability: Through the use of ester oil instead of mineral oil, the Green Power Transformer helps in prevention of pollution. Since ester oil is biodegradable and less toxic, it plays an important role in limiting pollution risk during operation, installation and end of life.

Moreover, with use of ester oil fire safety is improved considerably, offering increased security, not only for operators but also for those in close proximity. Ester oil has a fire point above 350 degree C, as compared to 150 degree C of mineral oil. Thus, Green transformers are less flammable and reduce fire spreading.

In addition, hermetically sealed tanks design helps to protect the surroundings from any splash of oil due to uncertain temperature rise within the tank.

High eco-efficiency : A major benefit of a Green Power Transformer is its optimised life cycle cost. Standard process coupled with design choice and high-performance materials help in achieving low losses and results in optimal capitalised cost of the transformer.

Majorly focusing on the designing factor of the transformers CCA, by using concepts such as amorphous cores or finer grades of CRGO, the losses can be reduced significantly; saving both the ownership cost of the asset as well as the carbon-foot print from power generation. Though with use of these factors there is increase the investment cost of the transformer but on the other hand it significantly reduces the cost of ownership of the asset.

However, regular condition monitoring, right from the stage of its factory testing to installation and commissioning is the key factor to ensure that the system is reliable and in turn efficient.

Way forward

With implementations of BIS NORMS across the length and breadth of distributions transformer industries in the country, more and more distribution networks are getting connected with low loss transformers while replacing the existing high loss transformers and thus line capacities are indirectly growing to handle denser network without replacing existing line conductors and connected cables.

The journey of Green Transformers has begun in India. In order to make governments ‘UDAY’ and ‘Power for ALL’ mission a great success the transformers industries has taken up the challenge to manufacture more and more eco-friendly and eco-efficient transformers to help Discoms in terms of optimum capacity utilisation while cutting on the losses in a much better and efficient manner.

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