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Technological Development and Contribution to Energy Conservation of 3D Core Transformers in China


Table of Content


2 3 4

Technical Characteristics of 3D Core Transformer

Amorphous Alloy 3D Core Transformer 3D Core Transformer's Contribution to Energy Efficiency


I Preface
China is a country of the fastest growth of energy consumption in the world and also a country suffering energy scarcity; energy conservation is a basic state policy for China to build a conservation-minded society. To honor the two commitments of Chinese government, namely the proportion of non-fossil fuel in primary energy consumption should be around 15% by 2020; and CO2 emission of per unit of GDP should be down by 40-45% over 2005, the task of energy conservation and emission reduction is daunting. According to estimation, power loss during transmission and transformation accounts for around 7% of the gross generation; while transformer is important equipment in power grid and the total loss caused by transformers accounts for around 3% of the gross generation. Every 1% reduction of power loss of transformers could save 10 billion KWH per year. Given the policy background of ensuring power supply, conserving energy and reducing emission, it is inevitable to promote high-efficiency and energy-saving transformers.


Energy-saving transformers reduce power loss through two ways: first, structure improvement, representative product is 3D Core Transformer; second, the adoption of conducting magnetic material of low magnetic saturation, representative product is Amorphous Alloy 3D Core Transformer. The R&D of 3D structure transformer started in 1960s; due the constraints of materials and technologies, by the end of 1990s, some domestic manufacturers introduced core equipment and gradually developed 3D Core transformers. After 2003, core transformers have gradually won users' recognition and been put into use. With the technology R&D of 3D Core Transformer maturing and supporting equipment being developed, there are more and more manufacturers of 3D Core transformers with certain production capacity and 3D Core transformers are being widely used.

Since 2005, over 100,000 sets of 3D Core transformers have been put into operation in various fields and the products performing excellently in performance parameters, performance-to-price ratio, noise, quality reliability etc.
Currently, the capacity of a single set of in-grid 3D Core oil-immersed transformer could reach 6300kVA, voltage class could reach 35kV. Currently, the capacity of a single set of dry type 3D Core transformer could reach 5000kVA, voltage class could reach 35kV; Currently, over 200 manufacturers could produce S13 oil-immersed transformer in China, and over 60% of them could produce 3D Core transformer. The industrial base is wide;

Currently, 3D Core transformers using Amorphous Alloy have been developed, signifying another great breakthrough of 3D Core transformers in the field of energysaving transformers.


II Technical Characteristics of 3D Core Transformer

3D Core is a structure with 3 identical single frame continuously wound by several trapezoid tape; three pillars of the core shape a equilateral triangle and the 3 phases are symmetrical. 3-phase magnetic circuits of the core are completely balanced; the magnetization direction is identical with the direction of rolling of silicon steel, magnetic flux distribution is even with neither lap nor seam; there is neither obvious high resistance area nor distortion of density of magnetic flux at the seams.


3D Core transformer is an energy-saving transformer with better structure and performance. It has the following outstanding benefits: (1) reduced material; (2) reduced energy; (3) 3-phase equilibrium; (4) low no-load current; (5) low noise; (6) strong overload capacity; (7)strong protection; emergent short-circuit

(8) low strength of electromagnetic field.

Material reduction rationale of 3D Core Transformer-No.1

3D Core is continuously wound by several trapezoid tape; different sizes of trapezoid tapes are cut by special line cutting machine, and the material utilization rate is almost 100%.
Diagram of 3D Core

Diagram of stack core processing process

The upper and lower yoke and pillar of the stack core will unavoidably punch off waste materials of the triangle; according to estimation, such waste materials account for around 5% of the gross weight of the core.

Material reduction rationale of 3D Core Transformer-No.2 HAIHONG CO.,LTD published a dissertation on the 05 edition of the transformer magazine for 2012, titled Analysis of Basic Characteristics of S13 3D Core Transformer. The analysis and calculation of the weight difference of 3D and stack cores under the condition of same diameter, profile, window height and center distance show that S13 3D core transformer could save around 20-25% of silicon steel compared with S13 stack core transformer of the same capacity.
Stack Core under the same conditions Stack core 3D core

comparison of consumption of silicon steel

3D Core under the same conditions

Material reduction rationale of 3D Core Transformer-No.3

The fill-factor within the circle of the profile of pillar of 3D core; with same effective pillar area, the diameter of 3D Core pillar is small, thus reducing the length of winding wire and saving winding wire. Therefore, 3D core transformer could save winding wire compared with stack core transformer.
Fill-factor 0.95-0.96 Fill-factor 0.89-0.925

Profile of 3D Core pillar

Profile of Stack Core pillar

Energy reduction rationale of 3D Core Transformer

Formula of no-load loss of transformerP0 =K0 G Pt P0is directly proportional to G, K0 , Pt

Gross weight of core G

Processing factor K0

Unit metal loss of core Pt

Gross weight of core G

3D Core saves core material compared with Stack Core; 3D Core processing factor: 1.05-1.1, Stack Core processing factor: 1.15-1.3; It depends on the performance of silicon steel sheet; using high brand number (low loss) sheet could reduce no-load loss effectively.

Processing factor K0
Unit metal loss of core Pt

3-phase equilibrium of 3D Core Transformer
Magnetic circuit connecting Magnetic circuit phase A and B connecting phase B and C

Analysis of stack core 3-phase magnetic circuit: Length of coupled magnetic circuit between Phase A-C: Lac=(2*M0+H0)*2 Length of coupled magnetic circuit between Phase A-B and Phase B-C: Lab=Lbc=(M0+H0)*2 Conclusion: the magnetic circuit between Phase A-C is longer and the magnetic resistance is bigger, leading to bigger no-load current of Phase A and Phase C, thus disequilibrium of the 3-Phase.

Phase A

Phase B

Phase C

Magnetic circuit connecting phase

A and C

Low no-load current of 3D Core Transformer

See the following table for the comparison of value of testing of no-load current of oil-immersed 3D core and stack core:
No-load current (A)

Phase a 3.30 S9-M-315/10 3.69 3.79 Phase b 2.70 2.93 3.06 Phase c 3.47 3.82 3.58

S13-MRL-315/10 0.48 0.50

0.46 0.52

0.47 0.48

The table shows that: The 3 phases of no-load current of oil-immersed stack core transformer is imbalanced, with phase b the smallest; The 3 phases of no-load current of 3D core immersed oil transformer is balanced and low.

Low noise of 3D Core Transformer

3D core is tightly and continuously wound silicon steel tapes by special core winding machine with no seams; the magnetic conduction direction of the silicon steel tape is identical with direction of magnetic circuit of the core, thus addressed the noise problem due to the incoherent magnetic circuit of stack core, minimizing the noise. Compared with S11 stack core oil-immersed transformer, S13 3D core oil-immersed transformer of the same capacity could reduce noise by 10-20dB (A). The testing result shows that the noise of SCB13 3D core dry-type transformer could be reduced to below 45dB(A).

On-site testing value: 43.5dB(A) low noise of on-site operation

Strong overload capacity of 3D core transformer
As shown in the right picture, 3-phase coils of 3D Core transformer are in a layout of "", temperature difference of upper and lower metal yokes give rise to air convection; due to the chimney effect at the triangular area of the core, cold air will replenish to the center tunnel from bottom up, and heat radiates out from the inner slope of the upper metal yoke; the natural circulation takes away heat generated by the transformer rapidly.
Meanwhile, the metal yoke of 3D core is semicircular with a slope of 30 degree, a thickness of 0.75 time of the diameter of core pillar; the area exposed at the end of the coil is enlarged and the colling conditions of 3-phase is the same. Capitalizing on the chimney effect, Diagram of heat could not concentrate at the triangular area and the temperature increase at the center triangular area is similar to the temperature increase at the top layer.

theory of cooling of 3D Core transformer

Plane view of circular coil of 3D core

Temperature increase testing model

Strong short-circuit protection capacity of 3D core transformer

Analysis and comparison from coil structure:

To reduce the length of upper and lower metal yokes of the core so as to save silicon steel, traditional stack core transformer has olive-shaped core profile and corresponding oliveshaped coil structure. The stress of the long and short axises of the olive-shaped coil is uneven, compromising the short-circuit protection capacity of the transformer. 3D core transformer has circular core profile and circular coil, therefore the anti-impact capacity is strong under short-circuit power impact.

Diagram of stack core olive-shaped coil

Diagram of 3D core circular coil

Strong short-circuit protection capacity of 3D core transformer Analysis and comparison from coil heat stability: There is no oil track at the arc section at two sides of the short axis of the olive-shaped coil, so temperature at the two points are the highest; long-term overheating leads to insulation aging, thus leading to short-circuit and other failures. While 3D core transformer uses circular coil with oil track around the circular, leading to appropriate distribution of oil flow, thus generating the optimum cooling effect.

section without oil track

Plane view of olive-shaped coil of stack core

Top view

Strong short-circuit protection capacity of 3D core transformer Analysis and comparison from motion stability of coil Fixture and padding of plane coil transformer are mainly arranged at the two sides of core; Majority of end area of Phase B coil under the metal yoke could not be tightly pressed, thus the stress situation is inferior to Phase A and C. While the frame pieces and paddings of the 3D triangular core transformer are distributed around the transformer and the paddings are pressed tightly by metal press in the center; the 3-Phase stress are symmetric and identical; Fixture of 3D core transformer is a triangular frame structure, integratedly welded. due to the stability of triangular, the overall strength is big and the 3-Phase stress is identical, so the short-circuit protection capability is strong.

Body of plane core transformer

Body of 3D core transformer

Low strength of electromagnetic fields of 3D core transformer The tight and symetrical coil structure of 3D coil greatly reduces scattering magnetic fileds around the transformer. Limited magnetic leakage reduces electromagnetic radiation.

Top view of 3D Core magnetic fields

Front view of 3D Core magnetic fields

Analog picture of 3D core magnetic fields

Top view of stack core magnetic fields

Front view of 3D Core magnetic fields


III Amorphous alloy 3D core transformer

Amorphous alloy 3D core transformer combines the dual advantages of amorphous alloy material and 3D core structure. This product makes breakthrough on the plane core structure of amorphous alloy transformer and adopts the perfect combination of 3D core structure and low loss feature of amorphous alloy material, addressed the bottleneck of traditional amorphous ally plan core transformers, such as loud noise, weak short-circuit protection, small capacity, large volume, high material consumption and non-renewable use of core, showing bright prospect for development.
Amorphous alloy belts

HAIHONG CO.,LTD IV Contribution to energy conservation of 3D core transformer

According to estimation, if all newly installed transformers in China uses 3D core transformer, it could save over 100,000 tons of silicon steel per year, greatly reduce rods and materials, saves energy of 1.45 million tons of standard coal and saves 3.088 billion yuan of electricity and cutting 29,000 tons of SO2 emission. According to statistics, there are 1.1 million sets of S7 and below high loss transformers in operation; if part of them could install S13 3D core transformer, the economic and social benefits will be tremendous. Take products with a capacity of 500kVA as an example: Electricity saving per year (KWH) 21,300 23.43 billion Saving electricity bill per year (yuan) 15,500 17.05 billion Cutting (tons) of CO2 emission indirectly 18.80 20.68 million Cutting (tons) of SO2 emission indirectly 0.15 165,000


Number of sets

In (tons) of standard coal 7.23 7.953 million

Replaci ng S7 with S13

1 1.1 million

Note: electricity bill calculated at 0.73 yuan/KWH, standard coal consumption for power generation calculated at 340g/kwh according to the figure in 2010. CO2 emitted by the burning of 1 kg of standard coal calculated at 2.6kg, and for 20g for SO2.