Power management company Eaton is helping utility, industrial, commercial and data center customers meet new U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) efficiency standards for distribution transformers. The new standards go into effect on January 1, 2016, and will increase the electrical efficiency of critical equipment that distributes power into homes and businesses. Eaton is working with customers to ensure a seamless transition to DOE 2016 compliant transformer designs.
Small increases in efficiency can result in substantial savings because transformers typically operate continuously. Over the next 30 years, the benefits of this action are expected to eliminate the need for 3.63 quadrillion British thermal units (Btu) of energy, which is roughly equivalent to the energy consumed by 40 million American households in one year. Approximately 264.7 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions will also be avoided, comparable to removing more than 51 million passenger vehicles from the road for one year.
“Eaton is a longtime power management leader and continues to deliver innovation and high-efficiency technology to customers,” said Clayton Tychkowsky, president, Eaton’s Cooper Power Systems Division. “Our expansion and upgrades to three Milwaukee-area plants will help meet growing demand from our utility, commercial and industrial customers for distribution transformers and voltage regulators, by enhancing our capability to deliver high-quality products at a faster pace. Investments in the latest manufacturing technologies will help us achieve these goals.”
Transformer size, weight and cost are likely to change as a result of the new standards. However, there are multiple ways to increase efficiency. Eaton is optimizing transformer designs to meet the new DOE requirements while maintaining customer-specific attributes including dimensional and weight constraints.
The DOE 2016 standards will impact distribution transformers manufactured for sale in or imported into the U.S., including liquid-filled medium-voltage distribution transformers. The efficiency increases required by the 2016 standard vary by transformer type and voltage rating.
While on a percentage basis, the efficiency increase in the DOE 2016 standard is greater for certain dry-type transformers, the actual efficiency of liquid-filled transformers is significantly higher. This results in less radiated heat to contend with inside buildings, lower losses and significantly reduced operating costs for liquid filled transformers.
Eaton’s Cooper Power series liquid-filled transformers use Envirotemp FR3TM* high fire point dielectric fluid. This liquid-filled transformer technology helps reduce operating costs, extend equipment life, and enhance safety for indoor applications, compared to dry-type transformers. The environmentally friendly, non-toxic fluid amplifies the positive environmental impact of the 2016 ruling.
Eaton offers a variety of Cooper Power series transformers that provide a range of power delivery and reliability, automation and control, advanced metering and demand response solutions designed to increase efficiency and smart operations. These products serve customers in the utility, commercial, industrial, mining, renewable energy and other markets.
Eaton’s electrical business is a global leader with expertise in power distribution and circuit protection; backup power protection; control and automation; lighting and security; structural solutions and wiring devices; solutions for harsh and hazardous environments; and engineering services. Eaton is positioned through its global solutions to answer today¹s most critical electrical power management challenges.
*Envirotemp and FR3 are licensed trademarks of Cargill, Incorporated.