On the photo: Leonardo Galhardo

Interview with Leonardo Galhardo of DuPont from CWIEME Berlin 2022

Germany, Berlin: Transformers Magazine brings an interview with Leonardo Galhardo, Industry Manager for Electrical Infrastructure, DuPont Specialty Products Operations, from CWIEME Berlin 2022 – held 10–12 May 2022.

Mr. Galhardo, tell us briefly about yourself and your position in DuPont, with some basic company figures.

Currently, I am the Global Industry Manager for the Nomex® Electrical Infrastructure business, based in São Paulo, Brazil. I have been with DuPont for nine years, always in the electrical insulation market. We manufacture the Nomex® paper, which has been for over 50 years the high temperature insulation benchmark widely used in the electrical industry. Our portfolio covers applications in transformers and rotating machines. Some Nomex® papers are mixed with mica, e.g.., for higher voltage applications, and others are specifically used for lamination. Now we are introducing our dedicated liquid-filled portfolio. Some products have been used in this application for many years, like traction, wind, and mobile transformer applications, but we are now focusing on growing this portfolio with the introduction of more saturable papers, larger pressboard sizes, and wet moulded components.

Here at Coil Winding we are also introducing the first-ever UL-Recognized Electrical Insulation System for liquid-filled transformers with the combination of the Nomex® 910 and the Natural Ester Paryol 7426 from Fratelli Parodi. This is a breakthrough in this industry and the intent is to educate and facilitate the adoption of alternative insulation systems by end users who have the interest but lack the knowledge or experience on how to adopt these systems.

We have seen some moulded parts here at the exhibition. Can you tell us a bit more about this product segment?

As I have mentioned, we are focused in expanding our portfolio for liquid-filled transformers. We have seen in the last years a push for grid resilience, which started in the USA. It is even stronger now with the new infrastructure bill calling for the strengthening of the grid. But it goes beyond the USA and it is a global issue. Knowing that, a few years back we decided to invest in our portfolio. Together with our allied partners, we are supporting the development of new Nomex® high temperature components for power transformers. If an end user needs to specify a power transformer with 100 % Nomex® insulation, a full transformer kit can be readily available through our allied partners. Unlike cellulose, Nomex® does not age at typical operating temperatures and it can support extreme overload conditions, making power availability more reliable.

You are also expanding internally in your manufacturing capacity, not only with your partners. Could you give us more details about these expansions?

Of course. We are investing in this business segment with a new plant in Japan, which was announced in 2021. This is our third plant. There is one in the USA and another one also in Japan. Our intention is to add up the Nomex® paper capacity globally.

We see that many companies work hardly on improving sustainability of their products and operations. Is there something that your products can contribute to in improving sustainability for your customers?

A great question. We look at sustainability from three perspectives. The first one is in the manufacturing. Currently, most of our Nomex® paper waste generated during production is recyclable and can be reused in the manufacturing process depending on the product grade and application. Our target is to achieve 0 % waste. Secondly, in September 2021, DuPont announced to procure more renewable energy – specifically, 135 megawatts of new wind energy in Texas – to meet our Acting on Climate goal. Therefore, we expect more renewable energy in our portfolio in 2023. Last but not least, we bring sustainability through the use of our products. As an example, a liquid-filled transformer insulated with Nomex® paper in ester liquid can achieve a 30 % size and weight reduction if compared to the same transformer insulated with cellulose in mineral oil. The outcome is less materials used in the process (copper, steel, liquid and paper) and therefore a more sustainable transformer. DuPont is committed to deliver solutions that help solve the climate change, drive the circular economy, deliver safer solutions, and help communities thrive.