Editorial Message Vol. 7 Issue 1

A few innovations and business events that have happened during the year 2019, related to the main trends in the industry.

byWritten by Mladen Banovic, Editor-in-Chief


Dear readers,

As I write this text at the very end of the year, it is interesting to make a short review of the innovation presented and business events that have happened in 2019. Here are a few that in my opinion are related to the main trends in our industry.

The innovations are as follows:

Phase-change cooling transformer

A Chinese company announced that they developed the world’s first 220 kV evaporative cooling power transformer, which uses a new type of non-combustible insulating heat dissipation liquid material – fluorocarbon. This liquid is a kind of low-boiling, non-combustible, environmentally friendly material used for insulating and cooling the transformer by its gas-liquid phase change.

Compact medium frequency transformer

Researchers from Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne have developed and built a compact medium-frequency transformer, rated for 100 kW and operated at 10 kHz. The idea is to enhance the flexibility and efficiency of smart grids and DC power distribution networks.

Advanced digitally connected transformer

A new version of Siemens’ digitally connected transformer – the Sensformer – is based on a digital twin operation that simulates the behaviour of the physical asset in real time. It comes with a few useful tools that compare simulated and measured values.

Industry 4.0 in new transformers factory

Siemens will build its factory for production of distribution transformers in Guangzhou with applied Industry 4.0 standard. The factory, planned to be put into operation in 2021, will be a model factory, suitable for an open innovation ecosystem for massive use of digital technologies such as digital power plant, industrial IoT, smart campus and connected mobility.

Robot for grid inspection

A small, remotely controlled robot, which can directly operate in the power boxes was used for the first time for grid maintenance in China. The robot is expected to be more widely used, with the aim of replacing part of the human operations gradually.

Bio-based dielectric fluid of ultra-low viscosity

Nynas claims that their new fluid NYTRO® BIO 300X, thanks to its ultra-low viscosity, enables up to 10 degrees lower hot spot temperature compared to average mineral oils and around 20 degrees lower compared to ester liquids, with a huge potential for thermal design optimization and improved over-loading capability.

While most of the innovations are digital-based, we can see that some of them are very disruptive innovations based on physics, that is physical properties of the materials.


There were major changes in the business event realm, with much bigger impact than the one we saw in the previous years:

Siemens to spin off Gas and Power

Siemens has announced its plans to spin off and give up the majority stake in its Gas and Power division, which is comprised of conventional power generation, power transmission, oil and gas, and related services businesses. This came shortly after Hitachi acquired ABB’s Power Grids division in a $11 BN deal.

Hyosung acquires Mitsubishi transformer production in U.S.

Hyosung Heavy Industries Corporation have entered into an agreement with Mitsubishi Electric Power Products Inc. to acquire their transformer factory in Memphis, Tennessee.

Cleveland-Cliffs buys AK Steel

Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. has announced that it has entered into a definitive merger agreement with AK Steel Holding Corporation to acquire all of the issued and outstanding shares of AK Steel common stock in a $1.1B deal.

CESI acquired KEMA Laboratories

DNV GL and CESI have signed an agreement to transfer the ownership of KEMA Laboratories to CESI.

Pfiffner acquired Haefely

Pfiffner International AG, a solution supplier for customers in the sectors of electrical energy and rolling stock, has acquired Haefely Test AG, a Swiss company that develops, produces and sells high-voltage test systems and instrumentation for electrical energy and general industry sector.

Megger acquired Power Diagnostix

Megger has acquired Power Diagnostix, a Germany-based company that develops and manufactures high voltage diagnostic equipment and provides diagnostic services for high voltage installations.


This edition brings you two interviews. In his interview, Marek Szrot talks about building a transformer service company, and Zhongdong Wang presents the largest and the most influential university research centre for transformers. We also bring you the usual columns from our two esteemed experts. Paul Jarman writes about transformers in the context of the energy system transition, and Marius Grisaru presents the third part of an overview of a century-long history of dissolved gas analysis.

Furthermore, we bring you articles on reduction of transformers vibration and noise trough smart core manufacturing, and on core cutting lines innovation.

Miguel Oliva et al. write about transformer innovations in light of transitioning energy landscape marked by megatrends like renewable energy, digitalization, sustainability, energy efficiency, circular economy, etc.

Claes T. Bengtsson and Joel A. Kern describe how shunt reactors improve voltage stability and power quality, Esa Virtanen et al. write about special needs for transformers in special applications, Sanjay Saxena et al. talk about railway transformers, and Mattias Viksten et al. touch upon UHVDC and UHVAC transformers.

Ayman Sakr describes corrosion protection of core steel in dry-type transformers, Georg Daemisch explains mapping of transformer populations, Manojmohan Subramanian deals with inter turn fault localization using SFRA, and François Devaux discusses the history of transformers.

If you would like to comment on some of the articles or claims in this magazine, feel free to contact me anytime.

In the end, I wish you a lot of success in the new year and, of course, a joyful reading.

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