Switzerland-based Mr Pierre Lorin, Global Technology Manager - Transformers Service, ABB Secheron Ltd said that India's ageing assets, rising energy demands and the need to deliver without unplanned outages are few challenges faced by utilities and industries alike. Mr Lorin was delivering his presentation on Transformers Asset Management at TRAFOTECH 2012 organised by the Indian Electrical & Electronics Manufacturers Association (IEEMA).
"Like in other markets, India is facing multi-level challenges of ageing Transformer assets, rising energy demands & the need to deliver without unplanned outages. However, at the same time, financial constraints demand an increased return on investment over reduced maintenance budgets and investments. The real challenge is to make the twain objectives meet at some point," said Mr Lorin addressing a huge gathering of engineers at TRAFOTECH 2012.
"It should be noted that transformers are the heart of power systems, with an average life of a Transformer being 25 years. India has planned additional power generation of approximately 65000 MW in the 12th 5-year plan and there are aggressive plans to increase interregional transmission capacity (national grid) from 16,450 MW in 2007 to 37,150 MW by 2012, a CAGR of 18% during 2007-12," added Mr Vishal Gakher, Director General, IEEMA.
According to data shared at TRAFOTECH 2012, the installed Transformer capacity on the grid has increased at a 6% CAGR to1,019,283 MVA in 2007 from 467,517 MVA in 1994. Power generation capacitygrew to132,329 MW in 2007, from 76,754 MW in 1994. Thus, for addition of each MW in generation, approximately 7 MVA of transformer capacity was added on the grid. Assuming that around 65,000 MW of capacity would be added during the 12th 5-year plan period, incremental demand of transformer capacity of 500,500 MVA and replacement demand of transformer capacity of 238,150 MVA is expected.
This huge Transformer base will require prudent asset management. Providing international solutions to this asset class, Mr Lorin said: "The apparently contradictory demands of more Transformers but less investment can be met through optimised asset management. But it requires accurate and reliable models considering both technical and economic criteria. Some of the key components of asset management can be addressed through condition-based assessment, online -monitoring and economical analysis. Ultimately India will have to spend money on the right asset at the right time."
Transmission is split into transmission lines and substation, with each accounting for 50% of the cost. Transformers form a major component of substation and account for around 30% of the cost, while switchgears account for nearly 40%. The power sector value chain comprises generation, transmission and distribution (T&D). Electricity generated at a power plant is transmitted to the nearest grid via step-up transformers and then to the state grid (via step-up or step-down transformers). Then it is transmitted to a power substation via step-down transformers. Finally, distribution transformers are used to transmit power from the sub-transmission point to end consumers.
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