Challenges Faced by High-Voltage Power Cables in Smelters and Desalination Plants

High-voltage power cables used in smelters and desalination plants are critical components in industrial settings. These facilities demand massive amounts of electrical energy to sustain their operations. While high-voltage power cables are designed to handle high currents and efficiently transmit electricity over long distances, they encounter several unique challenges when deployed in harsh environments like aluminium smelters and desalination plants. This article will explore the key problems these cables face in such industries and how our optical sensing technology can help address them.

Extreme Temperatures:
One of the primary challenges of using high-voltage power cables in aluminium smelters and desalination plants is the extreme temperatures in these environments. Aluminium smelters operate at incredibly high temperatures to extract aluminium from raw materials, while desalination plants use high temperatures to convert seawater into freshwater. These conditions subject the power cables to thermal stress, leading to cable degradation, insulation breakdown, and potential failures. Manufacturers address this issue using specialised high-temperature-resistant materials and employing advanced cooling techniques to maintain cable integrity.

Corrosive Atmosphere:
Both aluminium smelters and desalination plants have corrosive atmospheres due to the presence of aggressive chemicals, salts, and moisture. The corrosive elements can attack the cable's insulation and conductors, leading to a shortened lifespan and reduced performance. To combat this problem, power cable manufacturers have developed cables with robust protective sheaths and coatings that offer increased resistance to corrosion.

Mechanical Stress:
The industrial processes in these plants often involve heavy machinery and equipment that can exert mechanical stress on high-voltage power cables. Frequent movement, vibrations, and accidental impacts may lead to mechanical damage, compromising the cable's structural integrity. In mitigating this issue, lines with enhanced mechanical strength and flexibility are employed to minimise stress during installation and operation.

Electrical Interference:
Aluminium smelters and desalination plants have numerous electrical devices and equipment, creating a complex electromagnetic environment. The presence of strong magnetic fields and electrical interference can adversely affect the performance of high-voltage power cables, leading to signal distortion and potential data transmission errors. Shielding and grounding measures are employed to minimise the impact of electromagnetic interference on the cables.

Power Loss and Efficiency:
High-voltage power transmission over long distances incurs some power loss due to cable resistance. This issue becomes more pronounced in energy-intensive industries like aluminium smelters and desalination plants. Increasing the voltage to compensate for power loss is a standard solution, but it requires careful consideration of insulation capabilities and safety measures. Moreover, improving cable efficiency includes using high-conductivity materials and innovative insulation technologies.

The case for more comprehensive cable monitoring has never been clearer. While many solutions are first fit, the power sector has steadily increased its investment in optical sensing technology over the past two decades. Migrating this passive optical technology into the industrial space should be considered by smelter and desalination operators to provide better insights into MV/HV cable condition.

Within the power cable, there is embedded fibre; our sensing solution monitors the area where up to 69% of failures occur, the termination or junction points. Using the fibre as a medium and connected to our interrogator unit, we provide insights that allow earlier opportunities for maintenance intervention protecting the power generation asset and operational integrity of the plant activity.

Our breakthrough passive electrical sensor technology makes this viable by avoiding the need for power supplies, active electronics, and data networks, including cellular networks, local servers and time sources at measurement points. Thus giving a centralised and permanent measurement of voltage, phase current and sheath current. Temperature is easily achieved and correlated to early detection of water damage, sheath damage, screen damage, transients and oscillations. - all of which initiate joint or screen degradation, overheating, Partial Discharge and eventually catastrophic failure.

Understanding the Importance of Value Chain Analysis for Small and Medium-Sized Manufacturing Enterprises

In today's highly competitive business landscape, small and medium-sized manufacturing enterprises (SMEs) face numerous challenges to remain relevant and profitable. In order to gain a competitive edge, these businesses must identify and leverage their strengths while addressing their weaknesses effectively. One powerful tool that can help SMEs achieve this is Value Chain Analysis.

Value Chain Analysis is a strategic management tool that enables businesses to evaluate their internal activities and processes, from procuring raw materials to delivering the final product to customers. By breaking down the entire production process into distinct activities, SMEs can gain valuable insights into creating value for their customers and optimising their operations to achieve sustainable success.

Here are some key reasons why Value Chain Analysis is particularly crucial for small and medium-sized manufacturing enterprises:

  1. Identifying Cost Inefficiencies: One of the primary advantages of Value Chain Analysis is its ability to pinpoint cost inefficiencies within the production process. By assessing each step in the value chain, SMEs can identify areas where costs are unnecessarily high or where resources are underutilised. This information allows businesses to streamline operations, reduce expenses, and improve their bottom line.
  2. Focusing on Core Competencies: SMEs often have limited resources, making focusing on their core competencies vital. In these areas, they excel and add the most value. Value Chain Analysis helps SMEs identify these core competencies, enabling them to concentrate their efforts and resources on what they do best. This focus can lead to increased competitiveness and differentiation in the market.
  3. Enhancing Product Quality: For SMEs in the manufacturing sector, product quality is a critical factor that can make or break their reputation. Value Chain Analysis allows these businesses to scrutinise each step in the production process to ensure that quality standards are met at every stage. By improving product quality, SMEs can enhance customer satisfaction, increasing loyalty and positive word-of-mouth.
  4. Leveraging Technology and Innovation: Value Chain Analysis encourages SMEs to embrace technology and innovation at various stages of the production process. Embracing new technologies can increase efficiency, reduce costs, and improve product quality. Furthermore, integrating innovation into the value chain can open up new business opportunities and potentially lead to the development of innovative products.
  5. Strengthening Supplier and Customer Relationships: A practical Value Chain Analysis involves internal processes and external factors, including supplier and customer relationships. For SMEs, building strong ties with suppliers can lead to better terms, more reliable deliveries, and access to the latest technologies. Similarly, understanding customer needs throughout the value chain can lead to improved products and services that better align with market demands.
  6. Responding to Changing Market Conditions: Markets are dynamic, and SMEs must be agile to adapt to changing conditions. Value Chain Analysis facilitates a better understanding of market dynamics, enabling SMEs to identify emerging trends, potential threats, and new opportunities. Armed with this knowledge, SMEs can adjust their value chain accordingly to stay ahead of the competition.

Value Chain Analysis is a powerful tool providing small and medium-sized manufacturing enterprises with invaluable business insights. By breaking down the production process, identifying inefficiencies, leveraging core competencies, and embracing innovation, SMEs can optimise their value chain and drive sustainable growth and success in an increasingly competitive business environment. Embracing Value Chain Analysis as a fundamental part of their strategic decision-making process can empower SMEs to thrive in the face of challenges and capitalise on opportunities in their industry.

Understanding the GE-McKinsey Matrix and Boston Matrix in the Manufacturing Industry.

In the fast-paced and competitive manufacturing world, strategic planning and portfolio management are crucial in determining a company's success. The GE-McKinsey Matrix and the Boston Matrix are two popular tools that assist manufacturing businesses in making informed decisions about their product portfolios and resource allocation. Both matrices provide valuable insights, but they also come with their own set of benefits and pitfalls. Let's explore each matrix and its relevance to the manufacturing industry.

The Boston Matrix:

The Boston Matrix, also known as the Product Portfolio Matrix, was developed by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and has been used widely since the 1970s. It categorises a company's products or product lines into four quadrants:

a. Stars: These are products with high growth prospects and market share. They require significant investment to maintain their growth rate and dominance in the market.

b. Cash Cows: Cash cows have a high market share in a slow-growth market. They generate substantial cash flow, which can be reinvested in other products or used to support stars.

c. Question Marks (Problem Children): These products have high growth potential but a low market share. They require careful consideration and investment to determine whether they can become stars or should be divested from.

d. Dogs: Dogs have a low market share in a slow-growth market. They typically generate enough revenue to cover costs, and divestment is the best option unless they can be turned around.

Benefits in Manufacturing Industry:

Simplified Portfolio Analysis: The Boston Matrix simplifies complex product portfolios, making it easier for manufacturers to visualise and prioritise their products.

Resource Allocation: It helps manufacturers allocate resources effectively by highlighting products needing investment and those needing phasing out.

Strategic Decision-Making: The matrix aids in developing strategic plans for each product category based on its position, fostering better decision-making.

Pitfalls in Manufacturing Industry:

Overemphasis on Market Share: Relying solely on market share as a metric can be misleading, as it may need to represent a product's profitability or potential accurately.

Neglecting Niche Markets: The matrix might overlook smaller, niche markets that can be highly profitable in the long run.

Lack of Dynamic Analysis: The Boston Matrix provides a snapshot in time but doesn't consider changing market conditions and consumer preferences over time.

The GE-McKinsey Matrix:

The GE-McKinsey Matrix, developed by General Electric and McKinsey & Company, is a more comprehensive tool that evaluates business units or products based on two key dimensions: industry attractiveness and competitive strength. It involves nine cells in a 3x3 matrix.

Benefits in Manufacturing Industry:

Market and Competitive Analysis: The GE-McKinsey Matrix incorporates a broader range of factors, considering industry attractiveness and competitive strength, leading to a more thorough analysis.

Customisation: Manufacturers can customise the evaluation criteria to better fit their specific industry and business needs.

Future Orientation: By assessing internal and external factors, the matrix encourages a forward-looking approach, helping manufacturers prepare for future market changes.

Pitfalls in Manufacturing Industry:

Data Requirements: Implementing the GE-McKinsey Matrix necessitates gathering extensive data, which might be challenging and time-consuming for some manufacturers.

Subjective Evaluation: Scoring industry attractiveness and competitive strength involve some subjectivity, leading to potential biases in the analysis.

Complexity: The matrix's complexity may make it less accessible for smaller manufacturing companies with limited resources and expertise.

The GE-McKinsey Matrix and the Boston Matrix offer valuable insights for strategic decision-making in the manufacturing industry. While the Boston Matrix is simpler and easier to implement, the GE-McKinsey Matrix provides a more comprehensive evaluation. Manufacturers should consider their specific needs, available data, and resources before choosing the most appropriate tool. Ultimately, the effective use of these matrices can empower manufacturers to optimise their product portfolios, allocate resources wisely, and maintain a competitive edge in the dynamic manufacturing landscape.

Revolutionising the Renewable Power Generation Market: The Impact of AI on Businesses

The global push towards sustainability and reducing carbon emissions has fueled the growth of the renewable power generation market in recent years. Concurrently, the advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AI) has emerged as a game-changer, revolutionising the renewable energy sector. By harnessing the potential of AI, renewable power generation is becoming more efficient, reliable, and economically viable than ever before. This article explores the transformative impact of AI on the renewable power generation market and its implications for businesses.

Optimising Energy Production and Consumption
AI-powered technologies are crucial in optimising energy production and consumption in renewable power generation. For instance, AI algorithms can analyse vast amounts of data collected from solar panels, wind turbines, and other renewable sources. By scrutinising historical patterns and real-time data, AI can predict optimal operating conditions, ensuring that renewable sources generate energy at maximum efficiency.
Furthermore, AI can enable demand-response systems, adjusting energy consumption patterns to match the intermittent nature of renewable energy sources. Businesses can benefit by saving costs during peak hours and participating in deployed demand-response programs to earn incentives.

Enhancing Energy Storage Solutions
One of the significant challenges facing renewable energy adoption has been energy storage. AI is instrumental in optimising battery performance, extending lifespan, and predicting maintenance requirements. Through continuous analysis of battery data, AI algorithms help businesses store and distribute renewable energy more effectively, ensuring a stable power supply during periods of low generation.

Predictive Maintenance and Cost Reduction
Incorporating AI-powered predictive maintenance in renewable energy systems can significantly impact a business's bottom line. By continuously monitoring equipment health and performance, AI algorithms can detect potential faults or failures before they occur. This proactive approach reduces downtime, minimises repair costs, and extends the lifespan of renewable energy infrastructure.

Grid Management and Flexibility
AI can enable more dynamic grid management and flexibility. With a large-scale integration of renewables into the power grid, the variability of energy production increases. AI can analyse weather patterns, demand trends, and power generation data to optimise grid performance and balance energy supply and demand. This enables businesses to leverage the full potential of renewable energy sources while ensuring a stable and reliable power supply.

Market Forecasting and Investment Decisions
AI provides valuable insights through market forecasting and risk analysis for businesses investing in renewable power generation projects. AI algorithms can assess market trends, predict price fluctuations, and evaluate potential risks associated with renewable energy investments. This empowers businesses to make informed decisions, optimising their investments and ensuring long-term profitability.

Empowering Energy Trading
AI is reshaping the energy trading landscape, enabling businesses to participate actively in energy markets. By analysing real-time data and market conditions, AI algorithms can identify profitable opportunities for energy trading, helping companies to maximise revenue from their renewable energy assets.

Integrating AI into the renewable power generation market is transforming how businesses produce, consume, and trade energy. By optimising energy production and consumption, enhancing energy storage solutions, enabling predictive maintenance, and improving grid management, AI makes renewable power generation more efficient, reliable, and economically viable.

AI offers substantial benefits for businesses, ranging from cost reductions and increased profitability to better risk assessment and market insights. Embracing AI technologies will be crucial for companies seeking to stay competitive in the renewable energy sector and contribute to a sustainable future. As AI continues to evolve, its impact on the renewable power generation market and businesses will likely grow, shaping a greener and more energy-efficient world.

Benefits on having a Hybrid Company car in the UK

As a car driver we are seeing the push for Electric Vehicle (EV) adoption by governments and councils with the creation of Low Emission Zones (LEV) and vehicle manufacturers phasing out combustion engines in the decades ahead. If a company car is within your remuneration package or, in some instances, larger organisations have salary sacrifice schemes. But for now, focussing on company car users, transitioning to EV or Hybrid is a serious consideration for a company car driver, so how do we balance the benefits?

Benefits for Employees:

  1. Convenience and Mobility: Having a hybrid company car provides employees with the convenience of personal transportation, allowing them to commute to work and travel for business purposes efficiently. It eliminates the need to rely on public transport or private vehicles, reducing commute time and offering flexibility.
  2. Cost Savings: Hybrid cars are known for their improved fuel efficiency, which can result in significant cost savings for employees. Employees can save money on fuel expenses with lower fuel consumption, especially for long-distance commuting or business travel.
  3. Environmental Sustainability: Hybrid cars produce fewer emissions and lower carbon footprint than traditional petrol-powered vehicles. By driving a hybrid company car, employees can contribute to environmental sustainability by reducing air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, thus promoting a greener lifestyle.
  4. Tax Incentives: In the UK, tax incentives and benefits are associated with driving hybrid vehicles. Employees may enjoy reduced or exempted taxes, lower vehicle tax rates, and potentially lower company car tax (Benefit-in-Kind) due to the lower carbon emissions of hybrid cars. These tax advantages can lead to increased net income for employees.
  5. Enhanced Job Satisfaction: Providing employees with a hybrid company car demonstrates an employer's commitment to employee well-being and work-life balance. It can contribute to higher job satisfaction and employee retention rates, as it offers a valuable perk that improves employees' overall quality of life.

Benefits for Employers:

  1. Employer Branding and Attracting Talent: Offering hybrid company cars as an employee benefit enhances an employer's brand image as an environmentally responsible and forward-thinking organisation. This can help attract top talent who prioritise sustainability and seek employers with eco-friendly initiatives.
  2. Employee Productivity: Hybrid company cars can increase employee productivity. By providing reliable transportation, employers can ensure employees arrive at work on time, reducing the stress and potential delays associated with relying on public transport or private vehicles. This can lead to improved punctuality and overall productivity.
  3. Cost Control and Savings: Hybrid cars may have a higher upfront cost than traditional vehicles, but they can result in long-term cost savings for employers. Hybrid cars typically have lower fuel expenses, reduced maintenance costs, and potential tax benefits. Additionally, employers may be eligible for government grants or incentives for investing in low-emission vehicles.
  4. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR): Embracing hybrid vehicles aligns with an organisation's CSR objectives. It demonstrates a commitment to reducing environmental impact, aligning with sustainable business practices, and meeting carbon emission reduction targets. This can enhance the company's reputation, stakeholder relationships, and social impact.
  5. Regulatory Compliance: Many countries, including the UK, have regulations and targets for reducing carbon emissions. By incorporating hybrid company cars into their fleet, employers can ensure compliance with these regulations, avoiding penalties or fines associated with high-emission vehicles. This proactive approach demonstrates responsible corporate citizenship.

Overall, adopting hybrid company cars in the UK in 2023 benefits both employees and employers, offering employees convenience, cost savings, and environmental advantages while providing employers with improved branding, cost control, and environmental sustainability.

Pelamis Wave Power Generator: A Wave of Hope Amidst Failure

Pelamis Wave Power Generator: A Wave of Hope Amidst Failure

The Pelamis Wave Power Generator, once touted as a groundbreaking solution to harness the immense energy potential of ocean waves, unfortunately, faced significant hurdles on its path to success. Despite the challenges and ultimate failure of the Pelamis project, the future of wave power generation remains promising, offering a beacon of hope in the quest for renewable energy sources.

The Pelamis wave energy converter, designed as a snake-like structure that hinged on capturing the energy from the rise and fall of ocean waves, showcased great potential. However, the technology faced several obstacles that hindered its widespread adoption. First and foremost, the high installation and maintenance costs made it economically unviable for many potential investors and energy producers. The harsh marine environment also posed significant engineering and durability challenges, leading to frequent breakdowns and reduced efficiency. Additionally, the unpredictable nature of waves made it challenging to maintain a consistent energy output, making the Pelamis generator less attractive than other renewable energy sources.

While the Pelamis project's failure is disheartening, it is an essential lesson in pursuing sustainable energy solutions. Instead of viewing this setback as a deterrent, it should be seen as a stepping stone towards innovation and improvement.

Looking ahead, the future of wave power generation shows remarkable promise. Engineers and researchers have already started exploring alternative technologies that could overcome the limitations of previous attempts. One such approach is the development of submerged wave energy converters, which can tap into the steady and more predictable motion of deeper ocean waves. These subsea devices, although still in their infancy, have the potential to address the challenges faced by their surface-level counterparts, ensuring better reliability and efficiency.
Furthermore, materials science and engineering advancements are enabling the creation of more durable and cost-effective wave power technologies. With improved materials and design, wave energy converters can withstand harsh marine conditions and require less frequent maintenance, reducing operational costs.

Government support and policy changes are also crucial for the success of wave power generation. Incentives and subsidies can attract private investment and create a conducive environment for research and development in this sector. Collaboration between governments, private industries, and academic institutions is essential to accelerate progress and bring wave power technology to commercial viability.

The world's pressing need to combat climate change and transition away from fossil fuels provides an even greater impetus to pursue wave power generation. The untapped potential of the world's oceans presents a vast resource waiting to be harnessed responsibly and sustainably. Wave power, being a renewable and emissions-free energy source, has the capacity to contribute significantly to the global energy mix, mitigating the impacts of climate change and reducing our dependence on finite resources.

In conclusion, while the Pelamis Wave Power Generator faced challenges and setbacks, we should explore the vast potential of wave power generation. Lessons learned from past failures must drive us to innovate and develop more efficient, cost-effective, and reliable technologies. With continued dedication, research, and collaboration, the future of wave power generation holds the promise of a cleaner and more sustainable energy future for generations to come.

Challenge of Substation Auxiliary Power Supply

The Benefits of Permanent Partial Discharge (PD) Monitoring for Gas-Insulated-Switchgear & Power Transformers

Gas Insulated Switchgear (GIS) is a crucial component of electrical power systems, providing a compact and reliable solution for controlling and distributing electricity. To ensure the reliable operation of GIS, permanent partial discharge (PPD) monitoring plays a vital role. Here are five key benefits of implementing PPD monitoring for gas-insulated switchgear:

  1. Early Detection of Insulation Defects: PPD monitoring allows for the early detection of insulation defects within the GIS. Partial discharges are localised electrical discharges that occur within the insulation materials, indicating potential weaknesses or faults. Any abnormalities can be detected early by continuously monitoring and analysing PPD signals, enabling timely maintenance or repair actions.
  2. Preventing Catastrophic Failures: Insulation defects, if left undetected and unaddressed, can lead to catastrophic failures in gas-insulated switchgear. These failures can result in power outages, equipment damage, and even safety hazards. PPD monitoring helps prevent such failures by providing real-time insights into the condition of the insulation, allowing for proactive maintenance and minimising the risk of unexpected breakdowns.
  3. Optimised Maintenance Strategies: Traditional maintenance practices for gas-insulated switchgear often involve periodic inspections or time-based maintenance schedules. However, these approaches may lead to unnecessary maintenance or overlook critical issues. PPD monitoring enables condition-based maintenance, where maintenance activities are planned based on the actual condition of the insulation. This approach optimises maintenance strategies, reduces downtime, and extends the lifespan of the GIS equipment.
  4. Improved Asset Management: PPD monitoring facilitates better asset management for gas-insulated switchgear. Continuous monitoring of the insulation condition collects valuable data on partial discharge activity over time. This data can be analysed to gain insights into the overall health and performance of the GIS equipment, identify trends, and help make informed decisions regarding asset maintenance, replacement or upgrades. This proactive approach enhances the reliability and efficiency of the power system.
  5. Enhanced Safety and Reliability: PPD monitoring significantly enhances the safety and reliability of gas-insulated switchgear installations. By actively monitoring and managing insulation defects, the risk of electrical faults, arc flash incidents, and equipment failures is minimised. This ensures the uninterrupted supply of electricity, reduces the potential for accidents, and improves overall system reliability.

In conclusion, permanent partial discharge monitoring for gas-insulated switchgear offers several significant benefits. From early defect detection and preventing catastrophic failures to optimised maintenance strategies, improved asset management, and enhanced safety and reliability, PPD monitoring is a valuable tool for ensuring the efficient operation of GIS installations.

At ITL we provide PPD solutions, or if you are looking for just an on-site substation/transformer PD survey, we got you covered. Just reach out to one of our team, and we will be happy to help.

Benefits of Custom Designed Current Transformers for Electrical Switchgear Manufacturers

Benefits of Custom Designed Current Transformers for Electrical Switchgear Manufacturers

Current transformers (CTs) play a crucial role in electrical switchgear systems by accurately measuring electrical currents. While standard CTs are readily available, there are significant advantages to opting for custom-designed CTs tailored specifically for electrical switchgear manufacturers. Here are five key benefits of custom-designed CTs:

  1. Enhanced Accuracy: Custom-designed CTs can be manufactured to match the specific characteristics and requirements of the switchgear system or existing installed CTs. By taking into account factors such as the primary current range, burden impedance (VA), and accuracy class, we can achieve superior accuracy in current measurement. This ensures robust and reliable performance, enabling accurate power monitoring and protection of electrical equipment.
  2. Optimal Size and Form Factor: Electrical switchgear systems often have unique space constraints due to design considerations or the facility's layout. Custom-designed CTs allow Instrument Transformers Limited (ITL) to manufacture transformers that fit perfectly within the available space, maximising the efficiency and compactness of the switchgear design. This customisation ensures seamless integration and minimises the need for additional modifications or adjustments.
  3. Tailored Ratings and Specifications: Standard CTs may not always meet the specific rating requirements of electrical switchgear manufacturers. Custom-designed CTs enable manufacturers like ITL to choose the appropriate ratings, such as current ratios, accuracy classes, and thermal limits, to match the unique characteristics of their customers' switchgear systems. This customisation ensures optimal performance and avoids over or under-sizing of current transformers.
  4. Improved Safety and Reliability: Custom-designed CTs can be engineered with advanced safety features and protective measures, enhancing the overall reliability of the switchgear system. Manufacturers can incorporate additional insulation, thermal monitoring devices, short-circuit protection, and other safety mechanisms to mitigate risks and prevent potential failures. This customised approach enhances the safety of personnel and equipment, reducing the likelihood of electrical accidents or downtime.
  5. Cost-Effective Solution: While custom-designed CTs may involve an initial investment in design and engineering, they can ultimately provide a cost-effective solution for electrical switchgear manufacturers. By tailoring the CTs to match the specific requirements and constraints of the switchgear system, manufacturers can eliminate the need for costly modifications, minimise downtime, and optimise energy consumption. Additionally, custom CTs' enhanced accuracy and reliability contribute to efficient maintenance, reducing long-term operating costs.

In conclusion, custom-designed current transformers offer several advantages to electrical switchgear manufacturers. From enhanced accuracy and tailored specifications to improved safety and cost-effectiveness, these customised solutions empower ITL customers to optimise their switchgear systems' performance, reliability, and efficiency. Electrical switchgear manufacturers can achieve superior results by partnering with an experienced transformer manufacturer such as Instrument Transformers Limited (ITL) and leveraging our expertise in customisation.

#itl #quality #custom #design #CT #current #transformers #valueformoney

Demonstrating best Value for Money

Demonstrating best Value for Money

Best Value for Money (Vfm) is the most advantageous combination of cost and quality to meet a customer's requirements.

In this context:

cost means consideration of the whole life cost

quality means meeting a specification which is fit for purpose and sufficient to meet the customer's requirements

Demonstrating our continued strength in providing the best value for money products, we are supplying a new current transformer for one initially delivered by us in November 1978. #itl #quality #VfM #CT #current #transformers #valueformoney

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 :
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 &