Medium voltage conference call 7/19 : LUSENET : Commercial and Industrial Transformers : One Thread

Medium-voltage Transformers Conference Call 7/19/00 Meeting Notes

Participants: Wade Dell, NEMA Don Kline, Southern Transformers Adam Hinge, NEEP Phil Hopkinson, Square D Dave Korn, The Cadmus Group Chris Pruess, Honeywell Transformers Bruce Nelson, Minnesota Dept. of Commerce Becky Anderson, Minnesota Dept. of Commerce Mahri Lowinger, CEE Ted Jones, CEE Ned Brush, BBF and Associates

Purpose: To review the research agenda for medium-voltage transformers, address questions related to the market for medium-voltage transformers and discuss pertinent available information.

Key Comments: * The group agreed that most liquid, single-phase transformers sold to utilities meet TP-1. A significant portion of utility transformers meet TP-1, but not necessarily for C&I applications. Data from a letter from ORNL to ASHRAE indicated that more than 80% of products sold to C&I customers did meet TP-1. Manufacturers on the call, however, thought the percentage was below 20%. Wade Dell from NEMA thought that perhaps the percentage was high because of a low response rate. He will find the information for the group.

* Liquid-filled transformers have a more significant presence in the medium-voltage market, than the low voltage market.

* There are two distinctly different markets for transformers: the utility market and the C&I market.

* Utility transformer purchase decisions seem to be changing. According to a report by ACEEE Utility Distribution Transformers in a Restructured Industry: Implications for Efficiency utilities anticipate changes in their purchasing practices in response to deregulation. Some of these changes include: adopting payback or first cost criteria to replace total owning cost method (TOC); applying a band of equivalence (BOE) which accounts for uncertainties in the loss factors used in determining TOC; reducing transformer life for TOC calculations; lowering loss values in the TOC calculations; forming strategic alliances or longer contracts with transformer manufacturers; and standardizing transformer designs.

* Its very important when looking at the markets for transformers, to keep dry and liquid separate.

* Some industries, particularly the auto industry, are going back to using dry-type transformers due to the risk of having an oil spill, leak or explosion.

* Many transformers are bought based on first cost.

* Phil Hopkinson from Square D mentioned that NEMA may modify TP-1 to reflect temperature correction factor, and that more participants are needed on the committee. For more information Phil can be contacted at 704-282-7469 or

* The group discussed transformer loading and how it affects purchase decisions with regard to the level of efficiency chosen based on load. Typically in steel mills transformers are 80% loaded, in the glass industry they are 80% loaded, the automotive industry 60% loaded and in genetics where there are air handlers, etc. 50% loaded.

* The CDA suggested an opportunity could exist for CEE in heavy-duty industrial transformers. They tend to be highly loaded 85% and higher and are purchased based on ROI.

* Most transformer manufacturers do have an existing effort to promote TP-1. Manufacturers appreciate efficiency standards that they can comply with. Standards would not be created without the technology already being available. If a higher efficiency level is created beyond what currently exists, a manufacturer would be happy to make a line that complies given existing technologies. Manufacturers support voluntary standards and educating users.

Next Steps: 1. Need to find out the percent of medium-voltage market that meet TP-1. NEMA has offered to provide this data.

2. Need to find out how much cross-over there is between utility and C&I products and what information we have on utility products purchased by C&I.

3. Need to look into what data we have to support the idea that there is a trend among C&I to purchase dry-type.

4. Need to check into MITs installation, to get information on their 23 MW cogeneration facility.

5. The questions that CEE and the working group would like to address regarding the medium-voltage transformer market will be posted on the transformers bulletin board on CEEs website at: in the Industrial section of the web site under transformers for people to post answers and for discussion.

6. Phil Hopkinson will be presenting at a medium-voltage transformers meeting in Mexico City in August. He will forward his presentation to the group.

7. The next meeting to follow-up on medium-voltage is scheduled for September 21.

-- Mahri Lowinger (, August 03, 2000

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