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Hitachi ABB develops rupture-resistant transformer tank

Mar 5, 2021
Tech
Posted by Patrick Haddad

 Hitachi ABB Power Grids has developed a rupture-resistant transformer tank solution, TXpand, in a collaboration with Canadian transmission system operator Hydro-Quebec.

Combining their knowledge, the two companies developed sophisticated computer models allowing vulnerable areas to be strengthened while simultaneously making previously rigid areas flexible. This allows the transformer to literally expand during a major internal failure, absorbing the energy and preventing or controlling a potential rupture.

This technology has been deployed in Canada for several years and verified with a full-scale test in 2018, demonstrating TXpand’s capability to resist an internal failure of 20 megajoules (MJ) – 20 times the energy contained in a stick of dynamite.

A similar test in late 2020, in Sweden,  implemented a specific toughened “turret” – the location at which the bushing attaches to the transformer tank – to address the special challenges of HVDC converter transformers.

The test was a spectacular demonstration of the potential consequences of the failure of a transformer without TXpand, in contrast with the test on the TXpand equipped transformer which remained completely intact – exactly as planned.

“This rupture-resistant transformer solution concept is simple, but implementing it on complex transformers, of up to hundreds of cubic meters in volume, requires detailed engineering,” said Markus Pettersson, Global Product Manager for HVDC Converter Transformers, Hitachi ABB Power Grids.

“We drew on over a century of transformer design and manufacturing expertise to develop the sophisticated simulations behind this design, combined with unique capabilities to perform full-scale demonstrations in our testing centers and live-stream anywhere in the world.”

Source and Photo: Hitachi ABB Power Grids

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