Speaking ahead of the forthcoming CWIEME Chicago fair, transformer expert and founder of EMS Consulting, Mahesh Sampat, reveals the main technical and market impacts of the impending U.S. Department of Energy efficiency regulations for distribution transformers.
As the first country in the world to introduce an efficiency regulation for distribution transformers in 2010, the USA is further tightening its grip on energy consumption with a new amendment to be effective January 1, 2016, resulting from an extensive analysis by the Department of Energy and feedback from stakeholders.
“The majority of distribution transformers used in the US today are 98-99% efficient – the new regulation by the DOE will require transformers used in US to be as high as 99.5% efficient,” says Mahesh Sampat. “Although this is not a huge increase, the savings that could be generated over one-year period on a product that is built to last 30 years are immense – perhaps 1,000,000 units in a typical year. Per DOE analysis, Net Present Value (NPV) of this regulation is $12.9 billion.”
When it comes to improving the efficiency of transformers, Mr. Sampat sees the choice of electrical steel as key. Other ways transformer suppliers can achieve greater efficiency from their products include investing in automated equipment to improve the precision of the manufacturing, minimizing use of space in the winding, and using thinner insulation with better dielectric qualities.