Enel Grids deploys new low-carbon transformer in Italy

Biobased Sustainable energy

Italy – The first Eco-design High Voltage/Medium Voltage (HV/MV) low loss transformer has been released by Enel Grids and Hitachi Energy. It is insulated with natural ester, a completely biodegradable vegetable oil, and produces fewer CO2 emissions.

A transformer with a nominal power rating of 40 MVA has been approved thanks to the combined efforts of the teams from Enel Grids and Hitachi Energy. This cutting-edge technological solution aims to gradually reduce the infrastructure’s indirect emissions to zero. Natural ester has a significantly lower carbon footprint than conventional mineral oil when used as insulation, from production to disposal. This natural dielectric liquid also offers significant benefits from the standpoint of fire prevention because it has significantly better fire resistance characteristics than mineral oil.

Fully interchangeable

While the actual commissioning of the transformer will take place at the Primary Substation in Caltagirone, in the province of Catania, the project’s development and implementation took place at the Hitachi Energy plant in Monselice, in the Italian province of Padua.

There won’t be any on-site modifications needed because the transformer is made to be fully interchangeable with traditional transformers. Another 20 natural ester insulated transformers have already been commissioned with the intention of installing them in Europe and South America. The transformer installed at the Monselice plant is just the first in a series of similar initiatives by Enel Grids.

Large power transformers take longer to transition, so it happens more gradually, but Enel Grids has already adopted a global strategy to supply 50% of distribution network transformers with natural gas.