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Transformers are among the most efficient machines ever designed by mankind, and are usually built of copper or aluminum. As copper has conductivity almost twice that of aluminum, it is often preferred in transformer construction. The largest power transformers have efficiencies at full load of 99.75%. Distribution copper-based transformers are smaller, less efficient and more lightly loaded. Transformers in urban distribution (typically 250-1,000kVa) may lose 1-2% of energy transformed as heat. For smaller transformers in rural areas (50-100kVa), efficiency in operation can be as low as 95%

Most of the distribution transformers installed by the State Electricity Boards use high levels of energy which results in huge losses. A large number of Distribution Transformers used in India, particularly in smaller ratings such as 25KVA, 63KVA, 100KVA (11KV/415V, 3 phase) use conventional materials and methods of manufacture, resulting in very high losses.

The failure rate of these transformers is very high, around 16% (in Govt. SEBs), which is not favorably comparable to international norms of 1 to 2%. Further the life of these conventional transformers is very low (6-8 years). The higher failure rate also adds to the already high Transmission & Distribution (T&D) losses in the power distribution network of SEBs.

Why Choose Copper

The advantages of using Copper in transformer windings:
  • Inherent low loss material
  • Special skills not needed during jointing and termination (significant percentage of transformer failure can be attributed to defective joints and termination)
  • Copper scores over Aluminium in several respects such as conductivity, resistance, thermal conductivity, better withstanding capability during short circuit, etc.
  • Easy availability and competitive pricing favours “Copper” usage.

What We Do Transformer Market Scenario DT Case Study
International Copper Association India has taken up this project to improve the situation by advocating better technological options (EE distribution transformers) to reduce no-load and load losses. ICA India is promoting the use of low-loss, high-grade materials for the core and winding to result in low-loss, high-efficiency, Energy Efficient Distribution Transformers (EE DTs). The no load losses can be reduced by 75% and load losses by 40% by using Copper windings in place of Aluminium windings. Indian Transformers market size is approx. 266,000 MVA in 2012-13. The market is expected to year on year growth around 15% mainly due to the recent growth seen in the power sector & capacity addition of 88GW under the 12th five year plan.

For more information on the case study click here
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