Sustainable transformers – Solutions to increase reliability and ease maintenance
Sustainability encourages businesses to make decisions and engineer their products and services in terms of their environmental, social, and human impact for the long-term, rather than focusing on short-term goals such as the next year’s earnings report. It attempts to coax and influence them to consider more factors than simply the immediate profit or loss involved.
The world today is modern, materialistic, and largely urbanized. Due to vastly improved technologies, digitalization, the dramatic adoption and spread of telecommunication facilities, a major transition in transportation, and smarter cities, we are consuming more resources than ever before and certainly much more than we can put back. Many indicators show that modern society consumes more resources and pollutes our planet more than it can sustain in the long term. This stands true for the global energy sector, more perhaps than any other. The modern world increasingly relies on the electrical grid. From lighting our homes and powering our phones to running factories, almost everything we do or use is made possible by electricity. With the growth of e-mobility and digitalization, we will only see demand rising. Global energy demand is expected to grow more than 25 % by 2040, with electricity becoming an increasingly relevant part of the energy mix, heralding the global move toward a more electrified world.
Sustainability encourages making decisions and developing products and services, taking into account their environmental, social, and human impacts and influences on the long-term timescale
This widespread presence and growing demand for electricity mean that transformers are everywhere. As an essential part of the modern electrical grid, transformers increase the voltage of the system for efficient transmission over long distances and then step-down the voltage to distribute electricity to consumers. As a critical component of electrical infrastructure, strategic changes to transformer design and maintenance can minimize energy losses and reduce the environmental impact of the power grid. Therefore, as enablers of the transmission of electric energy, transformers are at the center of the system, which fuels our society, and they are affected by the issue of sustainability from several perspectives.
One of the most important ways for transformers to be more sustainable and resource-efficient is through digitalization and by implementing technology that reduces downtime, which at the same time increases intervals between maintenance and extends their lifespan. This can be achieved with condition-based lifecycle management instead of traditional time-based management.