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Adaptive thermal model for loading of transformers in low carbon electricity distribution networks

Oliyide, Rilwan O. and Cipcigan, Liana M. ORCID: 2023. Adaptive thermal model for loading of transformers in low carbon electricity distribution networks. Scientific African 20 , e01683. 10.1016/j.sciaf.2023.e01683

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The uptake of low carbon technologies, particularly Electric Vehicles (EVs) and Heat-Pumps (HPs), at the low voltage (LV) distribution network, in the quest of cutting down on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the transportation and residential sectors, has the potential to cause general load increase and may lead to higher and longer peak load demand. This development can, as hinted in previous studies, pose a real challenge of capacity overloading to transformers at the LV distribution network of electricity system. Prolonged periods of transformer overloading could lead to premature transformer failure and shortens transformer's life expectancy. A direct solution to addressing transformer overloading is the upgrading of the transformer capacity. However, the number of LV distribution transformers in electricity system to be upgraded and the resources needed for such operation make the solution less desirable to the Distribution Network Operators (DNOs). Therefore, it is important to develop cost-effective solutions for the optimal utilization of the existing transformer capacity. Adaptive thermal loading of transformers is one of such solutions. This paper focusses on the Adaptive Thermal Loading (ATL) of transformers in LV distribution networks with considerable penetration level of EVs and HPs. The thermal model of a 500-kVA, 11/0.415-kV (no load), 50-Hz, Dyn11, ONAN mineral oil filled, free breathing, ground mounted transformer serving a real and typical urban LV network in the United Kingdom (UK) is developed based on IEC 60076-7:2005 standard and used as the case study. A method of adaptive thermal loading of the transformer is presented to examine its capacity performance when serving the future load of the LV network following the integration of projected uptake figures of EVs and HPs for the years 2020, 2030, 2040 and 2050 into the network. Given the load and temperature forecasts of a day, the method aims at optimizing, considering the real and present conditions of the operating environment, the overall daily transformer capacity utilization that gives maximum daily return on investment without undermining reliability of supply and normal life expectancy of the transformer. Results show improved performances of the transformer when the adaptive thermal loading method is used.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Engineering
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 2468-2276
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 3 May 2023
Date of Acceptance: 1 May 2023
Last Modified: 07 Jun 2023 05:47

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