You are holding in front of you our Special Edition on Substations. This topic is the result of our readers’ choice and I think this is a good opportunity for all of us dealing with specific products, to look at the big picture and the conditions in which these products are made – substations.
This issue confirmed once again that digitalization is the dominant trend which enables new opportunities and imposes new challenges for power products. The first conclusion would be that monitoring as we know it, will slowly cease to satisfy practical needs. Power products must be, starting for their design, increasingly able to communicate with other devices and systems in the power gird which comprise the Internet of Things (IoT). The great number of such devices in the network generates big amounts of data and that data needs to be transferred, processed, and stored safely. Cybersecurity comes out of the security standpoint, and, operationally, Big Data arises. The interview with Goran Leci dwells more on the topic of cybersecurity of the critical infrastructure.
At the recently held EuroDoble conference in Porto, Portugal, one of the key topics and one of the panel discussion topic was the Big Data. There are a number of definitions of the Big Data, and my interpretation, influenced by several definitions that I have heard during presentations and discussions, is that the Big Data is the big collection of data that is not easy to process and store in the usual ways and by using the already existing software and hardware.
To illustrate the Big Data challenge awaiting as all, the example from one discussion will be used. One TSO has around 1000 power transformers in its fleet. The practice this TSO follows for the power transformers that do not show any signs of distress is to take the first DGA sample after 25 years of transformers use. Considering the power transformers’ life span and the dynamics of the DGA sampling, they have around 300,000 DGA samples in their database. When an online DGA system is installed on the power transformer, which on average gives 4 DGA samples a day, after 25 years that power transformer will have 36,500 DGA results in the database instead of one. Although the ratio of increased DGA data number will probably not be 36,500 in real life situation, this is still not the extreme situation. If we consider partial discharge monitoring, which can generate a GB of data just in a couple of seconds, we can imagine what Big Data means. The preparation to undertake such huge data influx is on one hand challenging, and on the other that much data opens up the possibilities for learning and applying the AI method and machine learning like we have never seen before.
One of the solutions which should be of great help with all those challenges is the design of the intelligent products, that is, equipping the power products with intelligent algorithms. It is important to say that this is not only a vision for future since such solutions described in this issue are already used in practice.
This issue brings you the new column on substation design by Paul Jarman. He writes about HV substations which are close to, within or even underneath places where people live and work, putting an emphasis on the safety and environmental compatibility in terms of materials, noise, and especially fire. Considering the author’s vast experience in this area, I would highly recommend you to read this column.
In another interview, Massimo Fioravanti talks about the available green and smart solutions for oil processing that enable circular economy and reduce pollution.
Ufuk Kivrak, in his column, explains the complexity of the supply chain in transformer industry, providing an insight into the characteristics of supply markets, products, and methods for supply chain optimization.
Saqib Saeed and Shirin Sheppard address the highly fragmented and competitive global distribution transformers market.
Diego Robalino, in his article, discusses the application of dielectric frequency response for the analysis of the insulation in MV, HV, and EHV instrument transformers.
Manuel Bolotinha advises on the proper preventive maintenance and planned inspections of equipment up to 800 kV.
Marius Grisaru provides a review of the classical bathtub for failure hazards and the foremost probability of failures in the middle life period.
Mislav Trbusic et al. article deals with the basic concept of the transformer’s heat utilization in which a proposed technical solution anticipates the installation of an additional oil-water heat exchanger in the transformer’s cooling system.
Sruti Chakraborty and Alberto Zotto present the advantages and challenges of using artificial intelligence for substation transformer management.
Christian Enk and Martin Pfanner explain different testing challenges and the possibility of achieving a higher efficiency using an optimized testing approach.
Mark Kuschel et al. summarize the status of the SF6 alternative solutions from the high-voltage switchgear point of view.
If you would like to comment on some of the articles or claims in this magazine, feel free to contact me anytime. I wish you a joyful reading.
Mladen Banovic, Editor-in-Chief