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 : 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.