Smart transformers represent a shift towards the next industrial revolution, aptly referred to as Industry 4.0, where online and connected technologies that are Internet of Things (IoT) ready, are rapidly becoming the norm in all facets and functions. This includes the high voltage (HV) infrastructure many sites operate and maintain, to which the distribution transformer is a crucial element.
The fundamental difference from a traditional distribution transformer is the online and integration capabilities of a smart transfer, and this is facilitated by online remote monitoring functionality.
Traditional transformers, whilst very robust and efficient pieces of equipment, are unable to provide health, performance and efficiency metrics without detailed manual inspections on an annual basis. Now, smart transformers, such as the Powerstar SO-LO, offers access to a 24/7 remote monitoring platform which provides distinct visibility and detailed insight into how the equipment is operating, whilst also showcasing the savings it is actively providing, through a secure online platform.
The comprehensive data provided by Powerstar SO-LO’s remote monitoring capabilities provides understanding of how the equipment is operating, enabling issues to be identified in advance of problem occurring, helping to prevent operation downtime caused by transformer breakdown, and the hassle of finding a replacement as quickly as possible so operations can continue. This data therefore goes on to aid decisions around energy strategies and allows identification of how and where enhancement of efficiencies can occur.
Developed in recognition and integration of Industry 4.0 ideologies, Powerstar SO-LO was launched in 2018 to address the antiquated practices of infrastructure equipment. The remote monitoring provides intelligence which includes useful grid information, conditional performance data and energy efficiency reports. It also enables integration with other smart energy technologies as part of a comprehensive smart energy strategy, enabling full data collection and analysis for various technologies available on a single, intuitive platform.
Benefits of Remote Monitoring
- Online oil analysis provides real-time critical information about the condition of the oil, reducing maintenance and inspection costs.
- Phase to phase metrics provide further insights of energy use to on-site engineers.
- Amps on each phase to provide details on the current load of each phase.
- Real power measured in kW per phase for greater visibility and understanding of the site’s consumption for identifying inefficiencies.
- Power factor to allow engineers to identify poor power factor and areas for improvement
- Harmonic distortion to allow tracking of harmonics in order to prevent tripping of equipment, overheating or cables, damage to switchgear and excessive energy use.
- Total system kVA to provide insights into energy that is being paid for but not utilised.
- Total system kWh to show total energy consumption of the site, to enable areas of further optimisation to be identified and allow reductions to be made.