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Public Distribution | 25 Jan 2019

With a pilot project for smart transformers, Ormazabal and EWE NETZ drive the energy revolution in Germany

Renewable energy sources produce more and more electricity. EWE NETZ GmbH, one of the largest network operators in Germany, already has a share of more than 80 per cent of renewable energy in its distribution network. This is good for the environment, but presents network operators with a challenge: conventional local network transformers cannot automatically adjust the supply voltage during operation and cannot absorb voltage fluctuations due to discontinuously producing energy sources. As part of a pilot project with EWE NETZ, Ormazabal supplied the transforma.smart, an adjustable local network distribution transformer. The innovative transformer station is located in Heidenau, near Hamburg. This location is particularly suitable as there are many wind power and biogas feeders in the immediate proximity. The number of photovoltaic systems is growing in the area. The smart transformer combines an intelligent control system with a newly developed automatic on-load tap-changer. It checks the undervoltage side of the transformer and automatically regulates the voltage by means of the OLTC (on-load tap changer) in the event of a voltage change over a fixed percentage value, lasting longer than three seconds. "With this new product, we have mastered the challenge of combining the controller with the transformer and accommodating all components in a common transformer station", explains Thomas Höfkens, Solutions Manager at Ormazabal. This means that the distribution networks can better absorb energy from renewable sources and work efficiently and safely.