TRANSFORMER 2020 – A technology study of crucial components and materials for power transformers

TRANSFORMER 2020 – A technology study of crucial components and materials for power transformers

Vol. 3 Issue 1

The challenge

What will transformers look like tomorrow? The same as yesterday, many will think, because the transformer industry is a very traditional and conservative industry. Or did it used to be? Have we missed to notice all those market drivers, such as electricity market deregulation, penetration of renewables into the grid, and higher sustainability and eco-efficiency requirements, to name a few, which have been shaking our industry and making it much more dynamic than it was ever before? All these changes bring new, stricter technical requirements for transformers, their components and materials.

TRANSFORMER 2020 project

Transform group, consisting of nine partner companies – GEA, HSP Hochspannungsgeräte, Krempel Group, Maschinenfabrik Reinhausen (MR), Nynas AB, Omicron electronics, Pfisterer, Röchling Engineering Plastics and Thyssenkrupp Electrical Steel – has made two steps toward creating the transformer of the future.

The first step was completing the project study TRANSFORMER 2020, the task which entailed re-thinking everything about transformers that used to be taken for granted. Together with the teams from the Technical Universities of Berlin and Dresden, the University of Stuttgart and the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technologies in Aachen, technical experts from the TRANSFORM partner companies came up with a number of breakthrough ideas and concepts, which were consolidated in a transformer design concept study created by Design Tech, an internationally leading company in the area of machine design. The results were finally discussed at length with chosen specialists from transformer manufacturers and operators during usability workshops in collaboration with PMO Usability Engineering.

The second step was presenting and discussing the devised concepts with other stakeholders – transformer OEMs, utilities and industry customers – at an open event TRANSFORM 2015, which was held in Vienna, Austria from 13th to 15th October 2015. The stunning 3-D-animation of the concepts shown to more than 500 people from the industry at the Austria Center Vienna was worthy of the world premiere.

Let’s look to the future

Study results, including 19 innovations, were showcased in the Transformer Lab using virtual reality. Below, we will look at 16 concepts which are expected to provide solutions for tomorrow’s operation reliability, efficiency, condition evaluation and diagnosis, as well as on-line monitoring of power transformers.

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