Transformer high-tech from inside and out
The challenges for today’s energy grids are tremendous – some nations need to setup and / or expand existing grids, others need to cope with ageing assets or the integration of renewable energy generation. One pivotal point is always the transformer as the centerpiece of power transmission.
Nowadays, transformers are more than mere voltage-conversion equipment: hidden within the tanks, high-tech materials and sophisticated engineering keep losses low and allow for reliable operations for decades. Special features protect some units e.g. against earthquakes or severe weather conditions. Other transformers are designed to operate in environmentally sensitive areas. Some are insulated with biodegradable ester or equipped with heat exchangers in order to make use of the waste heat. The Pretact® concept of Siemens Transformers contains different modules to prevent operational failures and protect the unit from external influences. Moreover, it provides mobile resilience units suitable for planned and unplanned outages.
Digitalization enables operators to keep track of all relevant parameters, including temperature (inside and outside the tank) and voltage levels. A status request can be done at any time via web interface. This means additional security and as a result a decrease in operational costs. Indeed, cost reduction is possible because condition-based maintenance can be performed instead of maintaining assets in pre-defined intervals. Online monitoring is especially attractive to rule out many root causes for unplanned outages which could become expensive for transformer operators.
All of these features that define modern transformers, used to be hidden inside transformer tanks. Siemens Transformers has decided that in future, quality leadership in electrical and mechanical design should be immediately visible. This is why the complete portfolio – from distribution up to large-scale power transformers – has been visually re-designed. The mobile resilience unit design was particularly emphasized to underline its robustness and the availability for its use in all sorts of locations.