To maintain their leadership position, or simply to survive in today's global marketplace, companies of all types and sizes are forced to innovate. The Enel Group has embraced this philosophy for years, pursuing the development of advanced technologies in all the energy markets. Endesa, the Group’s Spanish subsidiary, has recently set a record by commissioning the largest high-voltage transformer using dry technology operating in the world to date.
The transformer, installed in the Arjona substation in Seville, Spain, has a power of 31,500 kVA and 72.5 kV voltage and uses dry technology, making the nearly 18,000 litres of dielectric oil that are normally used to cool conventional transformers unnecessary. The prototype uses an epoxy resin with quartz particles as an insulating system. In the event of overheating, the particles absorb the heat, thereby preventing spontaneous combustion.
Dry technology simplifies maintenance and improves the quality of electricity supply, while reducing the environmental pollution caused by oil leakages. The transformer installed by Endesa serves about 5,000 consumers and has a power that is about ten times that of the current dry-type transformers currently in use the world over.
Prototypes of this kind, which are particularly suitable for use in urban centres and closed premises, are capable of operating at a temperature of 165 degrees centigrade (compared with the 100°C of conventional models), and have an average lifespan that is as much as 20 to 40 years longer than that of conventional transformers. In the near future, Endesa plans to install three new advanced units, including one in the substation of Osario (Seville), soon to be inaugurated.
With these new transformers, the Enel company continues to grow in the wake of innovation. As part of the Zem2All project, the company installed 23 charging points for electric cars in Malaga, creating the largest Fast Recharge network in Europe. It also recently launched the first edition of the Las ideas se mueven competition, in which the most talented students from universities in Catalonia can submit innovative ideas in the green technology sector in order to win a 3,000 euro scholarship.