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As of 1 July 2021, Nothing Will Be The Same In The Transformer Sector!

As of 1 July 2021, Nothing Will Be The Same In The Transformer Sector!

How ready are transformer manufacturers for this process? Very soon, all transformer manufacturers will have to change many habits when designing their new transformers, which they will sell to the European market.

Although it is a stationary electrical machine and it operates at high efficiency, there is a general tendency in the world to minimize transformer losses within the framework of sustainable energy generation and transmission. Whether those who produce and distribute energy, are private companies or state investments; they cost their projects by calculating each kW of energy loss on the transmission line; named Loss Evaluation.

This is exactly why the European Commission started implementing the Ecodesign Directive on July 1, 2015, as Tier-1. There are transformer losses and efficiency values ​​determined in this directive. It is requested to be applied in power and distribution transformers. Most European businesses require transformers that comply with this regulation, and this compliance is demanded very strictly. Hence if your designs cannot be succeeded to pass the test, you need to design again.

On July 1, 2021, Tier-2 new losses and efficiency levels will be implemented. The first major effect of this is that the use of core sheets and copper/aluminum in all transformers will increase. The second major effect is the equipment used in transformer production; the winding machines and the core cutting machines will need to be changed in order to reach the optimum design.

Below you can see the Ecodesign Annex 1 chart:


If we interpret Table 1.1; while the power classification on the far left remains the same, you will see that the values written in the Tier-1 section decrease in the Tier-2 section on the right. The Po maximum values of transformers with powers of 3150 kVA and below will decrease by 10%. When you compare the Po losses at maximum load, for example, for 2500 kVA, it will be 22000 W until 1 July 2021, while it will be 18500 W as of July 1.


In Table 1.2, the changes about the related loss regulations are given for Dry Type transformers. In the Classification of Dry Type transformers, it is stated that the load losses do not change after 630 kVA apparent power and above, but the no-load losses are demanded with 10% lower no-load losses as in oil type transformers. For power values of 3150 kVA and below, the allowable loss exceeds are also specified at the bottom part.


In transformers above 3150 kVA, which are classified as medium power transformers, a transition from loss limit to % efficiency value has been applied. Percentage efficiency values in the Tier-1 part will all be increased in the Tier-2 part. Table 1.4, it was determined on the efficiency that the losses in no-load losses and load losses to be obtained in the designs should be reduced.


The minimum Peak Efficiency Index values of the Dry Type transformer are defined in Table 1.5. In addition, loss values are specified in a different table for pole-type transformers, which are special application transformers.


Table 1.7 shows how efficiency will change with Tier-2 for large power transformers. This table is prepared for oil-type power transformers.

Table 1.8 contains the efficiency table which prepared for Dry Type large power transformers.

If we want to summarize how this change will affect transformer designs from the perspective of a designer, we can talk about the following: First of all, the designer will have to keep no-load loss low in the PEI account. This means that the ZDKH 0.80-0.70 low-loss core steel sheets will be more preferred in transformer production. Producers will have to adjust their sheet material investments according to this change, taking into account the inventory costs. It does not seem very likely that they will comply with the Ecodesign conditions, which they previously could comply with higher loss sheets.

Secondly, low current densities will be preferred. These windings will provide effects such as less cooling spacers, less amount of cooling surface, and less fan use, etc.

We can easily say that transformers will become heavier under the new loss conditions. With the increase in tonnage to be transported, there will be an increase in shipping costs. There will be changes in the shipping methods of distribution or dry-type transformers that can be transported with containers. Weight and transportation conditions should also be considered in the optimal transformer design.

At the end of the day, hard times await transformer manufacturers in a market that is constantly waiting for discounts, considering the loss assessments that can be seen in some specifications in addition to the PEI regulation. As mentioned in the title, nothing will be the same in the transformer industry as of July 1, 2021!

Rauf Tacettin Holdur

Business and Project Development Engineer

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