Improvements in power transformers will address the needs of the smart grid. Benefits include enhanced energy security, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, improved urban air quality, and greater grid utilization.
Many forces are driving our society to improve the electrical grid, and manufacturers of regular power transformers are aiming their efforts with products to meet the needs of a rapidly growing smart-grid infrastructure. Serving this impetus is the tremendous increase in interactive digital communications, stricter government environmental, reliability and efficiency regulations, the adoption of smart metering, and a greater reliance on secondary side power.
This is particularly true on the distribution side of electric power, where the total cost of ownership and payback for a utility and the end user over the useful life of a transformer is taken into consideration. According to Metglas Inc., a fully owned subsidiary of Hitachi America Metals Ltd., amorphous metal power transformers are less costly and more efficient than cold-rolled grain-oriented steel transformers.
The company manufactures amorphous metal power transformers using a proprietary process. The key to Metglas’ rapid-solidification manufacturing process is cooling the molten alloy at a rate of approximately 1 million ºC/s, using a melt spinning technique.
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