Support in technology and market development
The structure and topography of the grid varies from country to country and so do transformer requirements. There are many factors impacting this including, but not limited to, the movements in load centres, changes in the number and type of generating facilities, the development of smart grid technology, changes in voltage levels and the need for increased efficiency and reduced transmission losses.
The above said, adopted from the market review article Power transformers – Market development to 2030 by S. Aubertin, published in this issue of Transformers Magazine, well depicts the changes and drivers in the environment for transformer operation. Consequently, transformers technology is also changing in order to accommodate for and meet the changed requirements. The change, or the evolution, can also be noticed looking at international industry standards on transformers, the work of numerous working groups working towards solving different technical problems, published materials in relevant publications, patent databases, and so on. This evolution is comprehensive, affecting the standards, technology, business, market, and in the end, the people.
In order to ensure business sustainability, companies are working on improving their technology and business, and this is also a change. This of course is nothing new, as Heraclitus stated some 2500 years ago: “There is nothing permanent except change.” What is different today is the pace of the change, which is faster than ever before.
Utilities are updating their specifications, making them more stringent. In order to fulfil these requirements and provide more benefits, such as better performance, new functionalities, shorter lead times, reduced consumption of resources, etc., OEMs have to develop new solutions, or use the solutions available on the market. Actually, there are new components, materials, methods, machines and tools emerging practically on a daily basis. Therefore, the design and manufacturing processes have to be adopted and optimised in the way that such solutions can be used and that new requirements can be fulfilled. All this requires more investments; therefore, the business has to be organized, optimized, and developed so that solutions are brought to the market in as short time as possible in order to achieve greater results.