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.
What Makes Smart Transformers Different?
The fundamental difference between smart transformers to traditional distribution transformers 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 time-consuming 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 In Smart Transformers
- Online oil analysis provides real-time critical information about the condition of the oil inside the transformer, 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 optimization to be identified and allow reductions to be made.
The smart functionality, powered by online remote monitoring capabilities for enhanced visibility of asset performance and heightened integration with a variety of technologies, makes it perfect for a wide range of applications, including:
- Monitor increased output from wind farms
- Monitor solar panel performance
- Conventional distribution transformer upgrades
- Isolation transformers
- Step up and step-down transformers
- Voltage management
THE AMORPHOUS ADVANTAGE
The super low loss amorphous core present in our Powerstar SO-LO transformers delivers the highest efficiencies and reduce the number of unnecessary losses, equating to savings on operating costs and reductions in CO2 emissions.
The Powerstar SO-LO amorphous metal distribution transformers (AMDTs) contribute to improving site resilience and can assist in protecting against issues in the grid supply voltage, such as fluctuations. It allows for cost-effective infrastructure upgrades to be carried out with minimal disruption to operations – a huge advantage for many commercial sites.
- Up to 75% lower core loss than CRGO transformers
- Delivers greater consumptions savings, on average, compared to traditional CRGO transformers
- Contributes towards CSR by reducing CO2 emissions
- Simple non-invasive energy efficiency system
- Gain instant energy consumption savings
- Remote monitoring allows for greater visibility of transformers operations
- Reduce operating costs
- An expected lifespan of up to 50 years
THE DIFFERENCE AT THE CORE OF THE SOLUTION…
Due to the molecular structure of the amorphous core found within the Powerstar SO-LO transformer, it provides reductions to no-load core losses. This is due to the random pattern that the metal atoms form compared to the rigid structure found within silicon steel, combined with a ribbon thickness of only 0.025mm, and high electrical resistivity, it allows for lower hysteresis losses because less energy is wasted during the magnetisation and demagnetisation cycles of the supply current.
The main benefit of a smart transformer is the online remote monitoring capabilities. Through this Internet of Things (IoT) enabled technology, Powerstar SO-LO allows 24/7 visibility of asset data to help you better understand how your transformers are performing and identify where further efficiencies can be made to the site’s electricity profile to obtain the best return on investment. Find out more about the remote monitoring functionality here.