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Mobile resilience units reduce restoration time to a few hours rather than weeks

Energy management

A strategy beyond replacement

Siemens has developed transformers that can be transported and installed in a very short timeframe. These mobile resilience units reduce restoration time to a few hours rather than weeks. The new innovative transformer solution plays a key role in the new grid resilience concept that is based on the three pillars “prevent – protect – react.”

Energy security is a widely discussed topic today. The threat of a blackout due to natural or other catastrophes is a high concern at utilities, as well as at industrial companies. The effects of a blackout can be tremendous. Transformer in Grids, power generation plants, and industrial companies are key elements for energy transmission. Forced transformer outages have immediate impact on availability of electricity. Thus, solutions for resilience of transformers as a key asset are in high demand.

A well-known US-based utility made the decision to invest in grid resilience and the reliability of their grid. They requested spare power transformers for emergency situations that can be transported and ­installed within 36 hours instead of the several months to ensure fast recovery and reduce outage costs. Siemens worked together with the customer to design a power transformer that could be compared to a multifunctional pocket knife: compact, lightweight, quick and easy to install, and versatile in voltage.

Instead of one heavy-weight three-phase unit, Siemens designed three lighter single-phase units with a compact design, making transportation straightforward. Installation is made easy with the use of plug-in bushings and connections. The units are also made versatile, covering different ratings to enable reconnection between the 335/136kV-system (300 MVA) and the 132/136kV-system (150 MVA) in less than two hours. Furthermore, ester insulation adds to the units’ fire safety and environmental friendliness.

Broad portfolio for resilience

Siemens takes its customers’ concerns seriously and offers a broad portfolio for resilience. On top of reactive measures, protective measures are offered to safeguard units against geomagnetically induced current caused by sun storms or even bullets in the event of a physical attack. The third pillar of the grid resilience concept consists of a comprehensive portfolio of preventative services, including condition assessment, fleet monitoring, and repair and retrofit. These preventative measures address risks that may occur during operation.

Transmission grid operators, as well as both power generation plants and industrial companies, can benefit from the flexible and tailor-made resilience concept offered by Siemens Transformers. CEO of Siemens Transformers, Dr. Beatrix Natter explains: “Depending on the individual strategy of our customers, there are several ways to prevent assets from failures and protect them from harm. In addition to this, our mobile resilience units offer support beyond precaution and give operators a chance to react in emergency situations.”

Picture credits: Siemens AG/iStockphoto