Smart transformers are also known as solid-state transformers, they play a vital role in the electric distribution grid. They work separately to continuously control the voltage while in contact with the smart grid so that data and feedback about the transformer and power supply can be provided even through remote administration. These transformers provide a wide array of applications, starting from alternative power generation to traction locomotives, power grid and electric industries, etc. Smart transformers are built to give a voltage-augmented power supply to handle the energy requirement of the facility, for this reason, big commercial facilities are using these devices so that they can consume power more expeditiously and cost-effectively.

Another important benefit of smart transformers is that they respond to fluctuations within the power grid right away acting as voltage regulators and directly lowering energy consumption to ascertain that the boosted voltage is undisturbed. They instantly lower power consumption by providing a steady and maximum power supply that supplies the electrical equipment with optimal voltage. This advantage has led them to be used in Point of Common Coupling (PCC) in microgrids to act as a tool for safeguarding electrical equipment during power surges.

Smart transformers are sophisticated enough to meet the demands of future power systems, for this reason, they will be increasingly popular in the future.

Utilization of Smart Transformers

This type of transformer system is built for utilization in rural networks, which comprise a distribution transformer armed with an On-load tap changer for automatic voltage regulation and a communication system. The power line communication channel sets a channel between remote locations where the transformer is installed and the gateway that compiles data from another smart transformer installed in the region. When smart transformers are employed at the Point of Common Coupling (PCC), they regulate the active power exchanged between the microgrid and utility grid, based on the state of two networks and other data communicated to the smart transformers. They demonstrate to be significant components that provide accelerated and superior voltage regulation, frequency regulation, and regulation of the harmonic behaviour of each feeder.

Once the smart transformers are adapted for use, the subsequent step is to choose the power converter cells, which are the fundamental blocks of these transformers. These cells help reduce the core size, isolate different voltage levels, and minimize loss.

Advantages of smart transformers

The smart transformers are built to monitor and manage power supply during surges and ascertain that it is voltage optimized even when new requirements are being placed upon it. Other uses and functions of smart transformers include:

  • Safeguarding the power system from load disruption by insulating the source from load harmonics, transients and voltage sags.
  • By providing unity power factor with sinusoidal currents under non-linear loads.
  • Improving power quality by recapitulating loads to the mains with similar phase currents even for unbalanced loads.
  • Decreasing grid losses and enhancing power supply reliability.
  • Provides the ability to consume input or output in AC or DC power.
  • Safeguards the load from power supply disturbances.
  • Eradicates the tap changer requirement.
  • Provides backup and lowers power outage duration.
  • Regulates voltage and frequency levels, and therefore reduces the system losses.
  • Provide reactive power capability and system harmonic filtering.
  • In substations, it could be helpful to feed control equipment or to feed DC microgrids.