Photo by Hitachi Energy

Hitachi Energy Equips Zero Carbon Substation with Transformers

March 31, 2022
State Grid Corporation of China project will use bio-degradable ester-filled transformers

Hitachi Energy has supplied two 110 kilovolt, 63 megavolt ampere EconiQ power transformers to China’s largest grid operator the State Grid Corporation of China for a substation project underway in the Jiangsu Province, on China’s east coast. This project is in line with SGCC and Hitachi Energy’s strategy of pushing the boundaries in deploying sustainable technologies.

EconiQ transformers are optimized based on specific sustainability requirements of our customers and Hitachi Energy’s technology domain expertise, using environmental Life Cycle Analysis methodology. They contribute to decarbonization, enhanced safety for people, protection of ecosystems and responsible use of resources across the transformer’s life cycle. The transformers are also manufactured using fossil free electricity at Hitachi Energy facilities further contributing to the overall reduction of their carbon footprint.

The SGCC energy saving, and eco-efficient substation is expected to save about 18,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions over its lifetime. EconiQ transformers from Hitachi Energy along with other equipment such as photovoltaic solar panels and an energy storage system for the substation’s auxiliary operations will contribute to development of the “net zero substation concept,” in line with China’s carbon neutrality target.

The reduction of the transformers’ carbon footprint comes from a low loss design as well as from the use of natural ester biodegradable fluid as the insulating medium, the first of its kind at 110 kilovolts for SGCC. The plants from which the natural ester fluid is produced absorb CO2 during their growth phase in a process known as biogenic carbon capture.

The use of natural ester also reduces the transformers’ impact on local eco-systems, especially in the rare event of an uncontained leakage. From a safety perspective the higher flash point of natural esters reduces the risk of fire, protecting people who may be working nearby and the surrounding substation equipment. The transformers come with a disassembly manual with disposal and recycling guidelines for the end of the transformer’s life, supporting the circular economy.

Jiangsu province has a long history of business and industry and a large population of over 84 million people. The 110 kilovolt Gaoxiang (Qingshu) “zero carbon” substation is a demonstration project in Wuxi, one of the largest cities in the province, with over 7.4 million people and a key city in the Yangtze Delta commercial area.

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