A Concise Outlook on Dry Type Transformers and How They are Better Than Oil-immersed Transformers
A transformer is one of the crucial elements of an electronic device that is used for increasing and lowering voltage levels to the improve safety of the power systems. Transformers come in 2 types- dry type and oil-immersed out of which, dry type ones are considered safer and desirable for industrial applications. It is because these transformers don’t use inflammable liquids, don’t release toxic gases, and have high resistance to short circuit currents.
We are constantly surrounded by gadgets and devices that consist of small electronic elements which help the device in functioning properly. These elements are mainly capacitors, resistors, inductors, LEDs, ICs, fuses, and many others. A transformer is another element that is highly used to enhance the safety and efficiency of power systems by raising and reducing voltage levels when required.
What are Dry Type Transformers? Where are They Used?
To promote cool operating temperatures in electronic devices, dry type transformers are used that don’t utilize flammable liquids, unlike oil-immersed transformers. Instead, they rely on a high-temperature insulating system made of copper or aluminum coils and varnish coverings, and many more materials that make these types of transformers expensive and need frequent maintenance. Dry type transformers don’t have any moving parts, offer a consistent and secure power source, and are used in many applications where safety is the prime concern like hospitals, schools, factories, etc.
Some applications of dry type transformers are as follows:
- Several industries like chemical, gas, oil, etc.
- Water protection areas that are environmentally sensitive
- Indoor substations like hospitals, universities, buildings, etc.
- Fire-risk areas like forests
- Renewable energy generation areas like offshore wind turbines
How are Dry Type Transformers Beneficial?
Here are some advantages of dry type transformers that make them an ideal choice as compared to oil-immersed transformers:
- Dry type transformers are environment-friendly since they don’t release toxic gases
- They last up to a minimum of 25 years because of low thermal and dielectric heating
- They have high resistance to short circuit currents
- These transformers have low side clearance and high capacity to support overloads
Moreover, market analysts predict that the global dry type transformer market will generate a revenue of $6,556.7 million and grow at a stable CAGR of 6.1% during the 2020-2027 forecast timeframe.
How Can Dry Type Transformers Replace Oil-immersed Ones?
Growing urbanization has resulted in the rising demand for electric power in the cities. This poses a major challenge to the lack of environmentally acceptable sites for additional high-voltage outdoor substations in city centers. Also, the oil-immersed transformers have fire and explosion risks since they release SF6 greenhouse gas, thus they’re considered undesirable for insulating equipment. And so, many utilities started considering alternative solutions in the form of indoor substations using dry type transformers. Dry-type transformers don’t use any inflammable liquids for cooling and ensure the safety of the device. This makes them a highly preferred choice for city-building substations that need site-specific fire prevention strategies, thus making dry type transformers capable enough of replacing oil-immersed ones.
However, these transformers were only available for voltages of up to 36kV which was yet another challenge for city substations. Therefore, ABB, a multinational automation company that works closely with utility, infrastructure, and transportation customers, has developed 72.5kV dry type HiDry72 transformers for sub-transmission that come with vacuum-cast coil technology to offer superior mechanical strength in case of short circuit currents or heavy load cycles.
The Dominance of Dry Type Transformers in Industrial Applications
Dry type transformers have a wide array of applications from residential and commercial to industrial realms because of their properties like environment-friendly, durability, and safety. In addition, rising technological developments in the product portfolio, as well as increasing focus on replacing conventional insulating systems in electronic gadgets, are likely to surge the demand for dry type transformers in the upcoming years.
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