Utilizing Smart SO-LO Transformers to reduce energy losses
At Trelleborg Antivibration Solutions in Leicester, we thought we had covered and installed most energy reducing technologies, from new energy efficient motors, through to building management systems with LED lights throughout and a SCADA system that controls all the main equipment on the shop floor so only what we need to run is switched on. Coupled with our Energy Monitoring capability we thought we were doing well.
As we continue to look for more ways to reduce our energy consumption or energy costs, we explored technologies such as a battery for peak energy shaving, gas generation of our own electricity and solar.
Whilst investigating the battery option we were made aware of the latest super low-loss amorphous core transformers by Powerstar. We always saw a difference between our electricity bill (our input) and our internal monitoring readings, however, we put that down to maybe the accuracy of our monitoring and/or maybe time differences. It turns out it most of it was the transformer causing the loss.
Depending on the age of the transformer, typically depends on the amount of loss it is likely to be experiencing within the high voltage infrastructure resulting in wasted electricity and higher than necessary electricity costs. Our existing transformer was approximately 18 years old, not that old for a transformer, however, even then it was losing enough compared to today’s technology to make it worthwhile changing it. This allowed us to continue our sustainable focus, gain further energy efficiencies and reduce our electrical consumption.
Following the analysis, Powerstar helped us identify that the existing transformer was experiencing high losses and that we could benefit from it being replaced with a super low-loss amorphous core transformer, the Powerstar SO-LO.
The amorphous core enables magnetization and demagnetization to take place at a much quicker rate than in traditional cold-rolled grain-oriented (CRGO) silicon steel transformers which enables it to deliver greater efficiencies than aging, traditional transformers.
Additionally, the new SO-LO transformer has online remote monitoring capabilities built in which enables us to remotely monitor the key performance characteristics of the transformer at any time, from anywhere with a secure internet connection.
Savings & Benefits
By replacing the existing transformer on site, we are able to make a saving of approximately 2% of its annual kWh consumption, resulting in a payback of under 3 years!
The post-decommissioning analysis revealed that by upgrading to the Powerstar SO-LO distribution transformer, it is providing the Leicester site with 44% fewer losses on its transformer, equating to a saving of roughly 135,000 kWh per year. This was approximately what we calculated beforehand, so we are very pleased.
Paul Race, BU Digital Transformation Manager said, “It’s amazing the amount of savings from this improvement, everyone – including us – are more internally focused. By just expanding our horizon to include the transformer infrastructure we were able to unlock a 2% saving across the site in one project. We use quite a bit of electricity, so when looking at this for other sites, the amount of electricity being consumed and the cost per unit play a part in the payback, that said so does the age of the transformer and our previous one was relatively young !”