Transformers are vital components in the electricity transmission and distribution systems on which so many of us depend for our modern standard of living. Largely hidden from public view, transformers are the enabling technology for the efficient transport of electrical energy from where it is produced, whatever the primary fuel source, to where it is needed whether by industry, railways or domestic consumers.
The electricity we use typically passes through four or more transformers before it reaches our homes from the power station, and in the last 100+ years a substantial global industry has built up to supply transformers in large numbers to meet the needs of the utility companies for ever larger, more efficient and more cost effective equipment to support the rise in the demands and expectations of their customers. Much of the basic technology used in transformers is quite mature, but the desin tools and manufacturing techniques are constantly improving and the range and capability of the finished products is constantly expanding.
Utility companies and manufacturers must form a very close partnership to successfullya deliver an electrical system that meets the needs of consumers in all the necessary respects of safety, technical capability, economic efficiency, reliability, maintainability and environtmental compatibility. This partnership depend on a high level of mutual understanding, and nowhere in the industry is this more ture than in the supply of transformers.
Manufacturers must understand the requirements and the importance of the job the transformer will be expected to do and utilits and industrial customers must understand what is possible with existing technology and how particular demands will impact on the complexity, cost and potential reliability of the finished transformer. There will always be new challenge like higher voltages, higher powers, the integration of renewable generation, and the efficient replacement of aging equipment, that demand the highest level of knowledge.
This series articles of power transformer is a tremendously useful resource to help meet the need for a good and up to date understanding of transformers and transformer technology. Specifically, the article series will help readers appreciate the normal practices, what is possible now and what developments are expected in the transformer industry in the future. There is an obligation to share knowledge and experience so that the industry can function effectively and develop in the future.