GE Research and Prolec GE cooperated with Cooperative Energy to develop and install the world’s first flexible large-scale power transformer in a major utility substation in Columbia, Mississippi. The substation is part of the service network and supplies power to nearly 500,000 homes and businesses in Mississippi.
The transformer has a rated voltage of 165kV, 60/80/100 MVA, and was developed as part of an ongoing project funded by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Electricity. It has already begun a six-month on-site verification to evaluate its Performance and understand how this is achieved. New technologies can change grid management in the future. According to Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, the Department of Energy invested US$2.4 million in the new transformer. The new design will be more resistant to severe weather events and more securely from cyber attacks.
Transformers are part of the backbone of the power grid and regulate the flow of electricity from power plants, where the power plants produce electricity and transmit it to people’s homes and businesses through transmission and distribution lines. Historically, the existing infrastructure is functioning well. However, as the proportion of renewable energy sources such as wind and solar energy becomes higher and higher, new transformers with greater impedance flexibility will be required to support the voltage regulation, stability, fault management of the grid, and the restoration and resilience of transmission lines. This new large-scale flexible transformer technology is expected to help meet this demand.
Now is a critical period for the national grid infrastructure. Today, more than 70% of large transformer bases (>60MVA) installed in the United States have been in use for 25 years or more, and about 15% of them have exceeded the average life expectancy of 40 years. The gradual replacement of the existing fleet with more flexible power transformer solutions will greatly expand the grid capacity and accommodate more renewable resources and highly variable loads.
Post time: Nov-08-2021