A guide to HV efficiency: the core of the problem (Part 1 of 3)

The energy industry can often be complex, which is why we try to help simplify its complicated nature, and keep customers up to date on the ever-evolving technologies, in order to provide you with the understanding and knowledge needed to make informed decisions regarding your energy infrastructure.transformer energy

Following our acquisition of Bromsgrove Winding Services (BWS) Ltd., and the extension of our smart energy solutions to include distribution transformers, we have received an increase in the number of questions surrounding the efficiencies of HV infrastructures and how businesses can improve them.

This blog series will therefore provide a 3-step guide on how efficiencies can be made on the HV side, ranging from the materials used in on-site distribution transformers, to combined HV/LV solutions, and the power of remote monitoring capabilities.

Greater efficiencies at the core

Many facilities explore upgrading their HV infrastructure to maximise efficiencies and reduce electricity consumption, and this has led to the development of core materials which experience lower losses and are more efficient than the materials traditionally used to manufacture distribution transformers.

One such technology that has already achieved a reputation for delivering results is the amorphous alloy core. This well-established material has been widely studied and tested across a wide range of applications.

When compared to Cold-rolled Grain-orientated (CRGO) ‘rigid’ cores, the amorphous alloy has a flexible atom structure that allows for easy magnetisation and demagnetisation to take place, which delivers improved efficiencies and reduces the amount of wasted energy.

Further benefits can also be achieved by installing a distribution transformer that is designed bespoke to the exact requirements of the site. When provided, distribution transformers designed and delivered from concept to completion can provide enhanced site resilience and increased HV efficiencies.

The importance of upgrading your transformer

It is the case that due to the long-lasting nature of transformers, they have an estimated lifespan of 30-40 years, many transformers that are currently in use were manufactured at a time when different materials were available and aspects which are prioritised now were not seen as highly important.

One of these key aspects is the sustainability and environmentally friendly nature of materials that has grown in importance over recent years as the importance of battling climate change has intensified. Therefore, an upgrade to a new transformer which has been made in today’s climate which prioritises sustainability will enable an organisation to reduce its carbon emissions.

Older transformers are often drastically less efficient than newer transformers, exemplified by the ability of new amorphous core transformers to achieve up to 75% lower core losses compared to traditional CRGO transformers.

Additionally, some newer transformers, such as a bespoke manufactured Powerstar SO-LO low loss amorphous core transformer, comply with, and even exceed, the 2021 EU Ecodesign Directive Standards. However, older transformers are very unlikely to comply with these standards and therefore in spite of their lengthy expected lifespan are outdated when measured against contemporary standards.

Changing a traditional transformer with a more efficient amorphous core transformer will reduce energy consumption and costs for businesses who manage their own HV infrastructure.

View the Powerstar SO-LO product brochure


Tell me more about amorphous core transformers



In the next part of this series, we will explore how effective voltage management of the HV infrastructure can be achieved.

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