Silent transformers and reactors

Silent transformers and reactors

Vol. 4 Issue 2

BALIKESIR ELEKTROMEKANIK SANAYI TESISLERI (BEST) A.S. has been manufacturing power and distribution transformers since 1966. Today, thanks to 50 years of experience on five different continents, BEST has become the largest transformer manufacturer in Turkey, with its two manufacturing facilities located in Balıkesir city, TURKEY.

BEST has a total annual capacity of 40,000 MVA and capability to manufacture power transformers up to 800 MVA, 525 kV & 600 MVA, 750 kV; shunt reactors up to 250 MVAr, 525 kV; EAF transformers up to 350 MVA, and cast resin dry type transformers from 50 kVA up to 30,000 kVA, 52 kV.



Today’s transmission and distribution grids differ from those developed in the previous century by an increased awareness of the environment. The rising power demand should be covered without further interference to the environment, or nature. This means moving to renewables, to intelligent grids, and to higher efficiency at every point. On the other hand, due to a rapid urban growth, the aged transmission and distribution infrastructure which was once located at the perimeters of the city has now come within densely populated residential areas. This has brought along some problems to overcome; for instance, the overhead transmission lines are taken underground due to health and security concerns.

As the phase cables are physically much closer to each other in underground cables than in the overhead lines, there is an increase in capacity, particularly when the network load is low. This causes overvoltages which are potentially harmful to equipment. Hence the increased demand for reactors worldwide.

A shunt reactor is a machine physically similar to a power transformer, but able to counteract the effect of the grid line parasitic capacitance, thereby stabilizing the system voltage within acceptable limits. The shunt reactor which is able to switch depending on the load variations by means of the on-load tap-changer is called a variable shunt reactor. This type of the shunt reactor brings flexibility and versatility to dynamic load variation compensation. It reduces the need to disconnect the reactor and instead, high efficiency can be achieved by simply using a tap-changer to determine the reactive power level.

Noise is another one of the concerns we are faced with today. The same infrastructure is required to become a lot more silent, and almost invisible. The power demand is increasing, but not as fast as the real estate value, so all this often has to be achieved in about the same space.

BEST has recently tackled both these issues at once: a variable shunt reactor that is extremely silent.