Perhaps you’ve thought it’s a good idea to replace your transformer soon. Doing that could save your factory money in numerous ways. For example, if your current transformer fails often, an upgraded model could minimize the expenses related to the unplanned downtime. Additionally, you could reduce operational costs by investing in a more energy-efficient model. Here are some possibilities to pursue.
Save Your Factory Money With Transformer Rebates
In the United States, the Biden administration has recently unveiled the details of a transformer rebate program that will help companies use less electricity, save money and relieve stress on an already-taxed electric grid.
A press release about the matter mentioned that making distribution transformers even slightly more efficient would result in major energy savings for companies. It also noted that distribution transformers are some of the most vulnerable parts of the local infrastructure, yet they are vital since virtually all electricity goes through them.
The details of how to claim a rebate and verify one’s eligibility are not yet available. However, this program reportedly will put more than $20 million toward modernizing transformers and electric motors.
Consider staying abreast of how things develop. You’ll be ready to apply for a potential rebate if it becomes apparent that this program is a possibility for you and your company. When it’s time to start shopping for new transformers, prioritize energy-efficient models. You’ll be doing the most possible to reduce operational costs in the short and long term.
Reduce Fire Risks With Specific Upgrades
Some transformer upgrades can significantly improve your operations but don’t necessarily involve replacing the machinery. One example is to retrofill the existing transformer with natural ester oils. Those products reduce fire risks and minimize the need to separate transformers and other equipment to prevent accidents.
However, you may be in a situation where a fire or similar accident has already happened. The goal is to save your factory money by preventing an incident from occurring again. When a large fire recently happened at an Indian hospital, an investigation showed that an oil leak from a transformer was the culprit.
Decision-makers chose to deal with the issue by replacing the existing transformers with dry types. They said this would eliminate the possibility of a fire due to leaking oil. It’s also notable that the previous transformers were in place since the 1970s. When existing equipment has been used for so many decades, it often makes good business sense to upgrade to newer models, even if company leaders have not yet experienced mishaps.
In such cases, it may not seem like an upgrade would save your factory money due to the associated upfront costs. However, you should consider all the associated upkeep with the transformer and assess the risks of a potentially fatal accident due partly to the transformer’s age. Being proactive can prevent you from spending money to fix damaged infrastructure or deal with lawsuits if an accident happens.
Install IIoT Sensors to Reduce Operational Costs
The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) has been a game-changer for many companies. One of the benefits it brings relates to remote monitoring. Some solutions can detect leaks or measure environmental conditions, giving operators better visibility.
In one case, researchers developed a remote monitoring system for a transformer that automatically collected data and gave real-time information about several parameters. The people behind this solution said the technology could detect transformer issues before they resulted in failures.
The solution could detect electrical and thermal faults and pick up details about potential leaks. It provided details about these changes via push notifications sent to someone’s mobile phone. Although this was a research project, similar solutions are commercially available.
Before committing to one of those, think carefully about how you want to reduce operational costs with this technology. Have you previously had specific parts fail on the transformer? If so, putting smart sensors on those components could be a good starting point.
It’s also a good idea to think about which people at your business should primarily get the texts about possible problems. The right employees must be alerted, but you also want to avoid information overload and alert fatigue that could happen if too many individuals get the details at once.
Now Could Be the Time for a Transformer Upgrade
People proceed with transformer upgrades for numerous reasons. Sometimes, they do so after realizing their current equipment is no longer reliable and the adverse outcomes cost the business too much money. In other cases, incidents make people conclude they could reduce operational costs and safety risks by upgrading to newer models.
If you’re considering upgrading your industrial transformers, speak to potential providers about the best ways to save your factory money. Take the time to explain your needs and look at the available models and features. You’ll be more informed and have the details needed to make a confident choice.