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Intelligent transformers from Hitachi ABB Power Grids to bolster Tata Steel operations
Designed for decades of operation, these critical assets will be secured with digital technology to provide uninterrupted service
India continues to undertake major infrastructure projects and Government initiatives such as Smart Cities, Affordable Housing and Make-in-India, as well as the building of industrial corridors, that have established the roadmap for future growth of steel industry in the country.
Power is one of the most important raw materials for this energy intensive industry. The steel-making process starts with melting of iron performed in the steel mills and ends with bars and cold rolled sheets. The steel manufacturing processes require high currents that enable extremely high temperatures and frequent on-and-off switching for rapid cool down. These huge fluctuations in power consumption create voltage variations, stressing the electrical infrastructure to its limits.
Transformers are critical assets in electrical networks. A transformer outage can cause a total loss of industrial production, e.g. in pot making or by causing furnaces to cool down out-of-turn. Tata Steel needed a cost-effective and robust asset management solution to implement preventative maintenance to its transformers, thus extending their life and minimizing risk of outage.
Hitachi ABB Power Grids provided online monitoring and diagnostics devices, the TXpert™ Hub (based on CoreTec™4) and TXpert™ Ready CoreSense™ sensors that will be installed on the transformers. These will provide real-time insights into the transformers’ health and performance levels by measuring and carrying out real-time diagnostics on parameters such as oil temperature, gas-formation and load. The technology will provide actionable intelligence for predicting and preventing failure, reducing downtime and enabling planned outages. This will also reduce transformer maintenance costs and ensure smooth and enhanced business performance. As a start these will be deployed on five critical transformers at Tata Steel’s flagship Jamshedpur plant in Jharkhand.
The benefits of transformer digital sensing and monitoring are well recognized. A CIGRE study has shown that transformer monitoring can reduce the risk of catastrophic failures by 50 percent1. Furthermore, annual cost savings can amount to 2 percent of the price of a new transformer—approximately $40,000 to $80,0002.
“Intelligent solutions embedded in critical assets are key for enhancing industrial productivity and efficiency. As India’s economy grows and urbanization rises, smart power technology will be required to manage the country’s energy infrastructure, enabling it to actively support the country’s growth story”, said N Venu, Country Managing Director, India & head of South Asia Region at Hitachi ABB Power Grids. “The TXpert™ Ecosystem is yet another example of Hitachi ABB Power Grids commitment to shaping the future of sustainable energy, enabling a stronger, smarter and greener future”.
The TXpert™ Hub and sensors are part of Hitachi ABB Power Grid TXpert™ Ecosystem - an open, scalable, manufacturer agnostic ecosystem for digitalization of transformers with a complete suite of products, software, services and solutions. Based on deep domain knowledge, it provides data driven intelligence for optimization of transformer and grid operations and maintenance. Applicable for all transformer applications across the energy value chain from generation, transmission, distribution, industries and infrastructure, it helps to reduce costs, optimize operations, extend life-expectancy and enhance environmental performance.
1 CIGRE Technical Brochure 248. (2004, June). Economics of transformer management.
2 Boss P., Lorin P., Viscardi A., et al. (2000). Economical aspects and experiences of power transformer on-line monitoring. CIGRE Session.