A three-dimensional transformer is assembled step by step before their eyes in the conference center. It is the heart of the energy city of tomorrow. The 3D animated film ‘Transformer 2020’ is the result of a study conducted by a partner network of leading European manufacturers in the transformer industry, a network that also counts thyssenkrupp as a member. In cooperation with customers, universities, institutes, and energy providers, the researchers designed a model of an ideal voltage transformer that is more reliable, quieter, and far more efficient than comparable models.
Technological expertise is required
The heart of this transformer of tomorrow is made of PowerCore®-brand, grain-oriented electrical steel and comes from thyssenkrupp Electrical Steel. “This material is a highly sophisticated steel product from a metallurgical standpoint. As a core material, it forms the heart of the transformer,” says Peter Biele, CEO of thyssenkrupp Electrical Steel. “Manufacturing grain-oriented electrical steel requires a lot of experience and expertise,” adds Régis Lemaître, Head of Research & Technology.
New directives require new solutions
The demand for efficient transformers will vastly increase in the future. One reason is the ongoing urbanization and industrialization process worldwide. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), the demand for electricity will increase by two thirds over the next 25 years. In addition, a new Ecodesign Directive came into effect in the EU a few months ago. It mandates that the more than 3.6 million large and medium-sized transformers in Europe must become more efficient. By 2021, power loss must drop by 0.2 percentage points to 1.8 percent.
Today, thyssenkrupp Electrical Steel is one of only a small number of manufacturers in the world to produce the full range of these types of electrical steel. Thanks to the development of PowerCore® H18, it is possible to reduce not only energy consumption, but also noise levels. The electrical steel strip is now only 0.18 mm thick and makes transformers quieter. “This is also the result of highly successful cooperation with our customers,” says Biele. “Because the technological infrastructure and the high level of materials expertise at thyssenkrupp are an added benefit that they value greatly.”
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