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Sustainable peak load transformers

Sustainable peak load transformers

Vol. 9 Issue 3

A material and cost-efficient solution for distribution grid upgrades

Electricity distribution networks and their peak load capacities will have to be reinforced substantially to facilitate the uptake of heat pumps as well as the electrification of transport. According to the impact assessment of the EU Green Deal (‘Stepping up Europe’s 2030 climate ambition’), the share of electricity in energy end use will rise from 23 % in 2015 to approximately 30 % in 2030 and to close to 50 % in 2050 [1]. The resulting urgency to upgrade the distribution grid does not absolve it from the other major constraints set out by the European Green Deal, namely, to maximize both energy performance and material efficiency. This last ambition is a growing focus in EU policy making, emphasized through the new Circular Economy Action Plan, published in March 2020.

The sustainable peak load concept deployed in distribution transformers provides a solution that deals with all these constraints combined. It does not change the transformers themselves but instead maximizes their peak load capacity for material efficiency without compromising their energy performance. It can be applied in all cases where the difference between peak and average demand is proportionately high, which is usually the case in public distribution networks.

The peak load capacity of the sustainable peak load transformer is fundamentally different from the temporary overload capacities that are allowed by IEC 60076-7 and IEEE C57.91. The latter are tolerated emergency situations that will have a negative impact on the transformer’s expected lifespan.

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