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Power sector embraces tech innovations for transformer asset upgrades, says GlobalData

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Transformer asset

The integration of transformer assets in the power sector with technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), digital twins, robotics, and 5G is facilitating advanced grid management, foresight-based maintenance, and heightened energy stability. These advancements promise a more secure and robust infrastructure, positioning the sector on the cusp of the fourth industrial revolution, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

GlobalData’s FutureTech Series report, “Transformer in Utilities 2.0 – How Tech is Driving the Sector Innovation”, highlights more than 30 disruptive forces in power and utilities as emerging, accelerating, and maturing innovation areas based on their rate of growth in innovation.

Kiran Raj, Practice Head of Disruptive Tech at GlobalData, comments: “The emergence of digital twins has revolutionized transformer asset operations by offering insights, paving the way for real-time monitoring and proactive maintenance. By harnessing AI and machine learning, extensive data can be analyzed to anticipate potential system disruptions, ensure consistent energy output, and extend equipment longevity.

Vaibhav Gundre, Project Manager, Disruptive Tech at GlobalData, comments:The transformer asset landscape is being redefined through the surge in patents and innovative breakthroughs, which are accelerating technological advancement and fostering knowledge proliferation. These advancements highlight a significant shift from reactive strategies to predictive solutions, reflecting the dedication to not only address current grid necessities but also anticipate upcoming challenges.

5G technology is reshaping the transformer sector with real-time monitoring and swift data transmission. In February 2022, Jiangxi Mingzheng patented a 5G-enabled transformer safety system for remote fault detection, comprising a base, radiator unit, rotating top, and two infrared cameras attached to a ring.

Advancements in AI are streamlining the diagnostics of the transformer sector. In January 2022, Onepredict filed a patent for an AI-driven method to predict transformer states. The process considers transformer data, assesses if the oil has been filtered, and utilizes different prediction models accordingly to determine the transformer’s condition.

Robotics is modernizing transformer maintenance and inspection. In December 2021, Hitachi Energy patented a submersible robot to inspect liquid-cooled transformers. Using cameras, it captures and wirelessly transmits internal images to a base station for analysis.

Gundre concludes: “The fusion of 5G with the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) highlights the power sector’s commitment to uninterrupted connectivity, laying the groundwork for remote operational capabilities and insights-driven decision processes. Concurrently, the incorporation of robotics and drones is reshaping how inspections are approached, enhancing safety, speed, and depth of evaluations. This technological synergy holds the potential for a significant advancement in both efficiency and safety benchmarks within the sector.

Featured image Credit: Freepik
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