The European Union (EU) Has Released A Report On The Replacement Of The SF6 Gas In Switchgear

On September 30, 2020, the EU released a detailed report outlining alternatives to SF6 for use in switchgear and related equipment.
You can find full EU report from this link : https://ec.europa.eu/clima/sites/clima/files/news/docs/c_2020_6635_en.pdf
The report also extensively covers market impact and cost issues. This is the latest in a series of indications that the pressure is on to phase out SF6, as part of the EU’s mission to cut harmful greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by two-thirds between 2014 and 2030. Replacing SF6 would be a significant contribution by the energy distribution industry as it the biggest GHG contributor for this sector.

Environmental Issues SF6 gas:

The September 2020 EU report forms part of the EU’s review of the F-Gas Regulation, which is in a public  consultation period until the end of December 2020, and EU Commission adoption is planned for the fourth quarter of 2021. Tighter regulation around SF6 in the energy industry is one of the expected outcomes.

Even before the September 2020 report, the spotlight was already on SF6, for instance it is listed in the Kyoto Protocol. With a global warming potential (GWP) of 23,500, SF6 is considered the most potent of greenhouse gases. A recent study by the University of Antwerp (5) also suggests that reported SF6 emissions are underestimated and provides a projection of potential CO2 equivalent savings for a SF6 phase out, using the example of 145kV gas insulation switchgear (GIS).

SF6 gas alternatives:

Given that evaluating and implementing alternatives will take several years for an energy provider, there is no time to lose. The biggest challenge is to find a solution that lives up to SF6’s performance legacy, as well as meeting environmental requirements. The good news is that through the collective R&D of experienced switchgear manufacturers and other experts, today power utilities have several alternatives to SF6.

There are three main alternative approaches to SF6 replacements in play today: based on 3M Novec 5110 Insulating Gas which is a C5-Fluoroketone; based on 3M Novec 4710 which is a C4-Fluoronitrile; and dry air based in combination with a vacuum interrupter. These are all outlined in the EU report, as well as another report published in February 2020, by T&D Europe (6), the European association of the electricity transmission and distribution equipment and services industry.

For more infomation about SF6 alternative gas in switchgears please see this article.

Switchgear Manufacturers Pushing the Boundaries:

Switchgear manufacturers behind these alternatives continue to push the boundaries of what is possible and nearly all of them have also responded to the EU roadmap for the F-gas revision with detailed proposals for an SF6 phase out.

In addition, some manufacturers have also published their development road map or objectives to extend their SF6-free portfolio.

GE Grid Solutions is using a gas mixture based on 3M Novec 4710 Insulating Gas in its g3 (pronounced “g cubed”) technology. GE has announced a g3 roadmap until 2025 to extend its SF6-free portfolio up to 420kV which also includes an EU Life funded project.

AirPlus is a gas mixture using Novec 5110 Insulating Gas from 3M and is used by ABB in MV equipment, and by Hitachi ABB Power Grids in HV equipment. ABB has also announced its objective that up to 90% of its GIS portfolio variants will be SF6 free. Hitachi ABB Power Grids has an ongoing project with German utility TransnetBW  to upgrade a 380kV substation with its eco-efficient, SF6 free technology.

Additional switchgear manufacturers, such as Siemens Energy  and Schneider Electric, have made similar announcements expanding their SF6 -free portfolios.

Regardless of the chosen approach to replacing SF6, the EU report estimates that — depending on the voltage class — a full commercialization of alternative solutions is already realistic after a transition period of two to five years, for example for MV, and for HV GIS up to 145kV. The report also evaluates potential cost increases and concludes that “in general, where the SF6-free alternatives are more costly than switchgear containing SF6, policy intervention is likely to be needed to trigger a transition.”

In the meantime, switchgear manufacturers will continue to develop SF6 replacements beyond current voltage levels, and as the clock is ticking, now is the time for utility companies to start planning for an SF6-free future. After all, rather than wait to be forced to act, it is better to have sufficient time to evaluate alternatives and phase-out strategies, in the interests of utility firms and the planet alike.

Source: T&D world website & Switchgearcontent.com

ITL expands MV & HV product range with new partnership

Glasgow, UK, October 2020, Power technology company Synaptec has announced a new partnership with Instrument Transformers Limited (ITL) which will open up new market opportunities for both companies.

The partnership has been formed in response to changing customer demand as the power industry adapts to the challenges presented by decarbonisation and decentralisation. By marketing Synaptec’s unique photonic sensing technology alongside ITL’s transformer & transducer products, ITL’s customers will now be able to access complete software and hardware solutions to meet these challenges.

The inclusion of Synaptec’s sensor passive technology within ITL’s current transformers & transducers brings new market opportunities for both companies; for Synaptec the medium voltage market and for ITL the high voltage market. Not limited to physical products an analytics software platform called Synthesis is also available to help system operators make informed decisions about the health of their network assets.

Saul Matthews, Commercial Director at Synaptec, said:

“This development of our existing relationship with ITL marks an important milestone for both businesses at a time when the power sector is undergoing the biggest transformation we’ll see in our lifetimes. ITL’s long-standing and trusted supplier status makes them the ideal partner to help their customers embrace new instrumentation technologies with confidence. Together we will help with automation of condition monitoring, improved wide-area protection schemes and optimised asset management costs"

ITL's Managing Director, Ray Porrelli, said:

“This is a unique opportunity to expand our scope of service to the MV and HV power sector in partnership with Synaptec who have developed highly sophisticated technology for use in the measurement, protection and control of plant and equipment. Using completely passive sensor technology married with traditional current and voltage transformers in a novel way allows informed visibility for effective and efficient control of a power network with time-critical protection and control, real-time monitoring and trend analysis for asset management. All of which helps minimise service interruptions extends the life of an asset and provides a higher return on investment.”

Typically, protection transformers are more difficult to design and this bespoke element is where the synergy with Synaptec lies - both companies build their systems according to customer requirements and for ITL the inclusion of Synaptec’s technology opens up the opportunity for growth into a new market.

Keep up to date with all the goings-on at ITL by following us on LinkedIn

For more information on the cutting edge technology check our distrubuted sensors for photonic protection and monitoring technology web pages.

ITL brings Clean Air to the UK

As the power industry continues to reduce its carbon impact, ITL has partnered with Trench Group to bring to the UK the first-ever Power VT/SSVT with eco-friendly insulation gas Clean Air with a GWP of Zero.

The Trench Blue Power VT/SSVTs have the same reliability as comparable units with conventional insulation technologies. With experience gathered over decades in gas insulation, Trench is the only manufacturer who can offer a Power VT/SSVT with zero global warming potential.

The new insulation technology provides the same operational safety in terms of internal arc requirements, practically no ageing of the insulation gas as well as maintenance-free design. Life expectation remains the same as other gas-insulated units.

An additional benefit for the customer is that Clean Air insulation gas does not belong to the fluorinated greenhouse gasses (F-gases) and therefore, specialised training and certification required for this type of gas handling isn't required. Clean Air can be used everywhere without a tracer gas.

To learn more about the advantages of a Blue Power VT/SSVT check out latest information brochure

What’s best: “TR CU” or “EAC” Certification?

Sometimes we get questions regarding TRCU & EAC and which is best. I thought it would be good to try to help our customers with this short post on what they are and how they are interpreted.

The compliance with current standards of the technical regulation is critical for importing products subject to conformity to Russia and other Eurasian Economic Union member states.

Many manufactures are confused by the conformity assessment process with what's the difference between TR CU Certificate and EAC Certificate?

It is two different names for the same process of conformity assessment, whereby both terms are wrong or incomplete and misleading translation.

The background of the names is historical when the standardisation originated in the former Soviet Union. The new system of standardisation covers a large part of Eurasia.

This system was known as GOST an abbreviation of "Государственный Стандарт", which translates into "state-standard". and was umbrella standardisation in the Soviet economy. 

With the disintegration of the Soviet Union in the 1990s, several of the member states started developing their standard and conformity assessment procedures, to simplify the confusing GOST system.

Around 2002/2003, the "On technical regulation" law passed in the Russian Federation declaring that new technical guidelines are developed. Subsequently, the "Technical Regulation" "TR" formed containing fixed requirements for products, services & manufacturing processes.

Russia, Belarus & Kazakhstan founded their Free-Trade-Association which eventually became known as a "Customs Union" "CU". Allowing a single technical regulation to facilitate the sale of goods & services between the member countries underpinned by a common standard "TR CU"

Later when Kyrgystan & Armenia joined an opportunity to enhance standardisation further, Europes "CE" mark would be an appropriate model in which to combine with, developing into what today is the "EurAsian Confirmaity" or EAC certificate.

Now EAC is the proper standardised name but is commonly interchanged when TR CU, GOST standard is mentioned/required.

Transformers supplied from ITL destined for the EurAsian market will have the correct EAC certification attached. If you need a copy of our certificate for your project, feel free to reach out to us at marketing@itl-uk.com where one of our team will assist.

Getting the best value out of your CT purchase (Pt.1)

Bit of a wordy headline but as part of my getting the best value out of your purchase series, in this weeks post I am focussing on Metering or Measurement Current Transformers.

When a customer asks for a quotation, he/she may have a price in mind. That might be based on previous purchases or a hunch, but none the less a price is ingrained.

Current Transformers (CT's) while a relatively simple product in nature, sometimes customers are not always sure about what they need and give you a specification that is wildly over-specified for the application. As a CT manufacturer, we understand you are not experts. However, loaded with some knowledge on the factors that can influence price, then there is an opportunity to extract the higher value from your purchase.

RATIO: Primary (input) & Secondary (output) Current Ratio (e.g. 200/5A)

VA: Total instrument burden, including the length of any pilot wires along with square mm of the cable (e.g. 4sqmm).

CLASS: Accuracy required for operation (Tariff, Measurement or Indication

DIMENSIONS: Maximum & Minimum ( the space you have available to fit the current transformer, e.g. for a ring-type Inside Diameter ID, Outside Diameter OD, Axial Length AL).

  1. By specifying a higher VA or ACCURACY CLASS than necessary will likely result in a more expensive product.
  2. Cost generally increases as the Current Transformers inside diameter (ID) increases.
  3. 1A Current Transformers are typically more costly than 5A, why I hear you say - 200/1A has 200 turns of copper whereas 200/5A has 40 turns of copper thus an 80% cost saving on copper, not to mention a reduction in the overall dimensions).
  4. Potentially unnecessary accessories such as mountings which are chargeable extras. (Most customers have their own preferred and cheaper method of mounting inside the switchgear).

Considering the above plays a big part in getting the right product for the right price.

For this post, we will consider IEC 61869 as the default standard, as this is our usual customer requirement. However, should you need IEEE/ANSI or AS (Australia) we are just as at home with these specifications?

IEC 61869 standard:

There is also Class 3 & Class 5 but rarely used, most people opting for a Class 1 as a better alternative.

High accuracy classes like 0.2s & 0.5s often require a special type of core material which in itself very expensive, so this accuracy class should only be selected when a tariff application is required.

We appreciate our customers are not specialist in transformer design but have found that one of the most common misunderstood factors about specifying a current transformer (CT) is the Burden or VA. For example, if you double the burden from 5 to 10VA, you will increase the electrical steel content and thus have a significant impact on the unit price so you must get this right.

The burden is the load imposed on the secondary of the CT at rated current and is measured in VA (product of volts and amps). The accuracy class applies only to loads at rated VA and below, down to one-quarter VA. The burden on the secondary of a CT includes the effect of pilot leads, connections etc. as well as the instrument burden itself.

In situations where the meter is remote from the current transformer, the resistance of the pilot wires may exceed the meter impedance many times in these cases it is often economical to use 1 amp meters and CTs.

The diagram shows the burden imposed on the CT due to a run of pilot wire, so a pilot loop of 2.5mm2 wire, 60 metres long (30 metres distance) has a load of 12.5 VA on a 5 amp CT but only 0.5VA on a 1 amp CT.

Typical Meter Burdens (depending on the pilot lead length):

Moving iron meter 1-2VA

Moving coil meter 1-2.5VA

Digital instrument 1-5VA

Maximum demand indicator 3-6VA

 

Want to find out more about the Principles of Measurement Accuracy? Download our FREE application note.

Got a project where you need help with your CT or VT requirement? Reach out to our engineering team and share your requirements. We're here to help.

ITL COVID-19 Information

Updated: 16/03/2020, 15:41

In light of the sudden outbreak of COVID-19, I wanted to update you about our situation and to reassure you that we are still very much open for business.

Our response plan has been put in place to ensure we can continue to operate at a high standard while protecting our employees and customers.

Employee Safety

As a priority, we have decided to put several measures in place to protect the health of our employees, including:

  • Ensuring we have the resources to work from home.
  • We are postponing Customer & Supplier visits.
  • Immediate self-isolation for anybody feeling unwell or showing symptoms.

In these uncertain times, we have ensured our employees feel prepared and equipped to work effectively. We feel confident that we have the ability and motivation to carry out our services as necessary.

Delivery Schedules

  • Currently, delivery schedules are unaffected by COVID-19, and ITL remains fully operational.

As the situation remains, fluid ITL continues to review the case daily with input from the UK Government & Health Protection Scotland.

Can you use a LV CT in MV & HV Environment?

Can a Low Voltage Current Transformer (CT) be used in a Medium or High Voltage application? Surprisingly, it is a question we get a few times a year and thought it would be beneficial to put this out.

Firstly we must understand the configuration of the switchgear. For example, if the switchgear has a system voltage of 12kV and the CT will be installed on the bare busbars in the medium voltage section. Then yes you will need a CT that's fully rated, and generally, that's where the thought & decision process ends.

But let us dig a little deeper. If the CT is to be installed directly on medium voltage busbars, accordingly it must have an insulation level at least equal to that of the system/cubicle. However, if installing a CT on the medium voltage cable (which is already insulated), in this case, the CT can be a low voltage type (e.g. insulation level 0.72kV) as the cable provides the medium voltage insulation. It is this element that is missed by design engineers and as a result, adds unnecessary cost to the switchgear.

Another scenario is a neutral current transformer, typically on outdoor installations where the CT needs to be installed on an MV or HV system but on the neutral circuit. As such, it will not see the higher MV & HV voltages, so it's possible to use a lower insulation rating for the current transformer. It is critical to note on an MV or HV system were the CT will see "line voltage". Then a fully rated insulated current transformer will be required.

Got more questions about your specific requirement or maybe just a general inquiry, reach out to us at technical@itl-uk.com where one of our highly skilled engineers will assist or check-in on chat at our website https://itl-uk.com or directly with the link https://app.purechat.com/w/ITL-Chat

We look forward to being of service to you soon.

The Importance of Transformer Insulation Materials

Typically trаnѕfоrmеrѕ аrе сlаѕѕifiеd intо diffеrеnt tуреѕ such аѕ power transformer, рulѕе trаnѕfоrmеr, instrument trаnѕfоrmеr, audio transformer, RF transformer. It iѕ сlаѕѕifiеd into different ways bу itѕ роwеr capacity, frеԛuеnсу rаngе, vоltаgе сlаѕѕ, сооling type, аррliсаtiоn, рurроѕе, accuracy class, burden аnd bу itѕ winding turnѕ. It iѕ соnѕtruсtеd uѕing аir соrеѕ, tоrоidаl соrеѕ, ѕоlid cores and lаminаtеd steel cores. Aссоrding tо itѕ mеthоd оf mounting it iѕ сlаѕѕifiеd intо pole and рlаtfоrm, ѕubwау, switchgear and it iѕ сlаѕѕifiеd intо single and роlу-рhаѕе bу itѕ numbеr оf рhаѕеѕ. Depending on its рurроѕе it can be classified into Current аnd Cоnѕtаnt current, variable аnd соnѕtаnt vоltаgе.

Insulation iѕ оnе оf thе mоѕt important qualities thаt a trаnѕfоrmеr hаѕ, often under-appreciated. In fасt, the durability and ѕtаbilitу of a trаnѕfоrmеr highlу depend upon the рrореr application and utilisation оf the insulation mаtеriаlѕ рrеѕеnt within it. This mеаnѕ thаt other than mеtаlliс components likе ѕiliсоn ѕtееl аnd сорреr, don't suffer a mechanical or electrical breakdown thus aiding decades of service life.

A Power Transformer inѕulаtiоn ѕуѕtеm соnѕiѕts either liquid or gas combined with ѕоlid materials. Petroleum-based оilѕ have been uѕеd tо insulate роwеr trаnѕfоrmеrѕ ѕinсе 1886 and thе mid-1970ѕ whеn the flammability оf minеrаl oil wаѕ a соnсеrn since then been соmрlеtеlу phased оut of trаnѕfоrmеr рrоduсtiоn due to еnvirоnmеntаl concerns. It hаѕ bееn rерlасеd bу аnу оf a widе vаriеtу оf high-flash-point fluidѕ (ѕiliсоnеѕ, high-flash-point hуdrосаrbоnѕ, chlorinated bеnzеnеѕ, оr chlorofluorocarbons).

Gаѕ ѕуѕtеmѕ include nitrоgеn, аir, аnd fluоrоgаѕеѕ. Thе fluоrоgаѕеѕ are uѕеd tо аvоid combustibility аnd limit secondary effects of internal fаilurе. Sоmе trаnѕfоrmеrѕ have bееn соnѕtruсtеd using lоw bоiling-роint liԛuidѕ such as Frеоn whiсh аllоwѕ imрrоvеd heat trаnѕfеr uѕing a 2-рhаѕе cooling system.

Within thе соrе аnd соil аѕѕеmblу, inѕulаtiоn can be dividеd intо twо fundаmеntаl groups: mаjоr inѕulаtiоn and minоr insulation. Mаjоr insulation ѕераrаtеѕ thе high аnd lоw-vоltаgе windingѕ, аnd the windingѕ tо core. Minоr inѕulаtiоn mау bе uѕеd bеtwееn thе раrtѕ of individuаl соilѕ оr windingѕ dереnding on construction. Finаllу, inѕulаtiоn is applied to each ѕtrаnd of соnduсtоr and or grоuрѕ оf ѕtrаndѕ forming a single turn.

Understanding the transformer application is key to understanding what insulation materials to use. In Power Transformers insulating рареr аnd cardboard are the twо main insulating mаtеriаlѕ used for isolating рrimаrу and ѕесоndаrу windingѕ with thе mаin соrе. Whereas in some low and medium voltage applications Epoxy or Polyester Resin systems protect while in others a plastic case, polyester tape or crepe paper are most suited.

In the end, insulation plays a vital role in the operation of a transformer; getting it wrong can be expensive.

Need an Instrument Current Transformer or Voltage Transformer up to 36kV?

Drop our technical team an email to discuss your requirement or jump over to our contact form and complete, we would love to hear from you.

UL Recognised Components

Instrument Transformers Limited (ITL) is happy to announce our new range of UL recognised component, low voltage current transformers, and is yet another milestone of achievement in our expanding portfolio.

Tape Finish, Resin Cast & Plastic Case models with prefix part numbers 560, 561 & 562 will fall under our UL programme (File Number E502882) and highlights our ongoing commitment to providing the very best customer solutions. So if a UL requirement is what you need, just let us know we would be happy to help.

To understand the importance of UL and what it stands for we need to look at its' history: -

Underwriter Laboratories, or UL, is a global company with headquarter in USA, Illinois. Offering a variety of services to help business improve their products or services and demonstrates they are safe to use and comply with set quality standards and regulations. From a manufacturer point of view, the UL affixed label gives our customers additional confidence in the safety, quality, and reliability of our product.

In 1893 a fire at the World Columbian Exposition in Chicago Illinois, where sixteen people lost their lives. Prompted William Henry Merrill, Jr who would go on to become UL's founder. Proposed the idea of an independent electrical testing laboratory and in 1894 the Underwriter Electrical Bureau was born. Finally, after several name changes, in 1901 the name Underwriter Laboratories as we know it today got incorporated, and the business took off.

UL published the first standard in 1903 for a Tin Clad Fire Door and has since branched out in a variety of industries (e.g., building construction, aircraft, security, home appliances, resins, TV's and much more). In 1956 UL also expanded internationally and started to certify products made in Europe.

ITL continues its expansion into North America & the Petro-Chemical processing space, where electrical switchgear equipment manufacturers need UL approved components. 

Which is part of our ongoing drive to support our global customer base with the right products for the right application at the right price.

Got Questions?

Drop our technical team an email to discuss or jump over to our contact form and complete, we would love to hear from you.

SAP Ariba – Good or Bad?

SAP Ariba is the leader in spend management. It began with a mission to help companies control spending and cut costs by making it easier for buyers and suppliers to work together. In 2012, Ariba was acquired by SAP, the world’s largest business software company, and in 2016 launched its new new brand identity.

While SAP Ariba is open to all systems and all types of goods and services, its unified name conveys to customers the value of combining solutions for procurement and supply chain collaboration with SAP’s expertise in enterprise application software and supply chain management.

SAP Ariba is how companies connect to get business done. On the Ariba Network, trading partners from more than 3.6 million businesses, operating in more than 190 countries, discover new opportunities, collaborate on transactions, and deepen their relationships.

  • Large, midsize, and growing companies use an end-to-end, automated system that simplifies the management of everything from sourcing to payments, all in one place.
  • With intelligent spend management tools and network-generated insights, customers establish sustainable, trusted connections with partners while ensuring efficient, error-free transactions.
  • Buyers can manage the entire purchasing process as they control spending, find new sources of savings on both direct and indirect goods, and build healthy, ethical supply chains
  • Suppliers can connect with profitable customers and efficiently scale existing relationships, simplifying sales cycles and improving cash control along the way.

The Ariba Network makes it easy for buyers and suppliers to collaborate on transactions, strengthen their relationships, and discover new business opportunities. Buyers can manage the entire procurement process from source to settle, while controlling spending, finding new sources of savings, and building a healthy, ethical supply chain. Suppliers can help buyers achieve their procurement transformation goals, while boosting customer satisfaction, simplifying the sales cycle, and improving cash flow.

Content Source: Ariba.com

In the end it is the choice of the supplier to either join or not. Some of your customers may insist while others are not on the platform, that is all fine at least you are able to make an informed judgement. It might be sales related or foresight to where you want to see your business in the future to join. Our experience over the past years has been good and are able to engage and participate in number of projects easily.

Find Instrument Transformers Limited on SAP Ariba

Need an Instrument Current Transformer or Voltage Transformer?

Drop our technical team an email to discuss your requirement or jump over to our contact form and complete, we would love to hear from you.