Dynamic Duo

Imagine a world where you could overload a fleet of transformers dynamically for network control purposes. Sounds like the stuff of fantasy? Well, PSI Software AG and Reinhausen are already working on it.

With the world’s energy supply increasingly made up of volatile renewable sources, electricity industry players across the globe are discovering that managing energy networks efficiently is an ever-growing challenge. In an attempt to cut back on costly unscheduled switching operations (redispatching) in primary substations, many network operators have begun systematically exerting dynamic overloads on equipment such as cables and lines, buffering peaks as a result.

“Exposing overhead power lines to dynamic equipment limits is already part of daily practice. We can also control other components—like cables, busbars, and electrical coils—in the same way. In some cases, we even analyze them and incorporate them into the network security calculation,” says Erik Herold, Head of Development with­in the Product Development division of PSI Software AG, a leading provider of system solutions for control centers.

However, power transformers are not yet among the equipment that this work focuses on. Tobias Gruber, who is responsible for digital­iz­ing power transformers at Reinhausen, believes that this is primarily because controlling them dynamically is significantly more complicated. He ex­plains: “In order to run a transformer over load, we need a comprehensive picture of its current state of health—otherwise, there is no way for us to mobilize thermal reserves safely. The necessary data is now provided by our ETOS® (Embedded Transformer Op­erating System) system, which enables us to control power transformers at a much finer level.”

Modular Intelligence

ETOS® is the world’s first open operat­ing system for intelligent transformers. To help network operators utilize the full potential of transformers for network management, PSI Software AG and Reinhausen have entered into a technological partnership. Their specialists are currently integrating the modular system solution into the control system software PSIcontrol. Erik Herold says: “Since ETOS is based on open standards throughout, it can be integrated very efficiently.”

Harnessing the full potential of a transformer fleet for network control means reconciling load and weather forecasts with the transformers’ state of health. ETOS® provides the key to this.

tarting in 2020, all PSI custom­ers will then have the ability to con­trol the overload capability of their transformers over a 24-hour period using forecast data (relating to wea­ther and network utilization) and status data. ETOS® even makes it possible to control cooling systems intelligently as a preventative means of pre-cooling transformers.

“Since ETOS is based on open standards throughout, it can be integrated very efficiently.”Erik Herold, Head of Development
with­in the Product Development division of PSI Software AG

Erik Herold from PSI Software AG sees yet more benefits in linking the control system software with ETOS®: “Not only will it increase network utilization, but it will also make it possible for us to handle transformer equipment more considerately.”

Emphasizing these thoughts, Tobias Gruber from Reinhausen says: “ETOS® gives asset man­agers a much more precise basis for making decisions about how to use their equipment because load-flow management, state of health, and service life are inextricably linked in a transformer.” 


Would you like to know more about the digitalization of transformers?
Tobias Gruber is happy to advise you further:


Looking for more to read?

One-time registration gives you an access code for this and all future issues of ONLOAD.