Smart Transformers - How they help reduce energy consumption?

Smart transformers, also known as solid-state transformers, 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, the power grid, 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 right away to fluctuations within the power grid, acting as voltage regulators and directly lowering energy consumption to ensure that the boosted voltage is undisturbed. They instantly lower power consumption by providing a steady, maximum power supply that supplies the electrical equipment with optimal voltage. This advantage has led them to be used at 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 comprises 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 the two networks and other data communicated to the smart transformers. They demonstrate that they are significant components that provide accelerated and superior voltage regulation, frequency regulation, and regulation of the harmonic behavior of each feeder.

Once the smart transformers are adapted for use, the next 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

Smart transformers are designed to monitor and manage power supply during surges, as well as to ensure that voltage is optimized even when new requirements are placed on them. 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 a unity power factor with sinusoidal currents under non-linear loads
  • Improving power quality by returning loads to the mains with similar phase currents, even if the loads are unbalanced
  • Decreasing grid losses and enhancing power supply reliability
  • Allows for the consumption or output of AC or DC power.
  • Protects the load from power supply interruptions.
  • Eradicates the tap changer requirement.
  • Provides backup power and shortens power outages.
  • Regulates voltage and frequency levels, lowering system losses.
  • Provide reactive power capability and system harmonic filtering.
  • In substations, it could be helpful to feed control equipment or a DC microgrid.