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Scalable and Customizable Power Transformer Monitoring System

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - SCAN-TMS (Scalable and Customizable Power Transformer Monitoring System)

Reporting period: 2018-02-01 to 2018-06-30

Productivity is the key for companies’ survival in the current competitive worldwide scenario. A stable energy supply is an essential condition to reach the optimal productivity levels. Power quality problems can lead to malfunction, or even shutdown, of facilities and equipment. The consequences range from excessive energy costs to complete work stoppage. Poor power quality is estimated to cost the European economy up to €150,000 million annually.

Power transformers (PT) are the most expensive and strategic components of any power system. Failures of PTs are further compounded by high replacement costs and lengthy delivery times. The savings from a dramatic reduction in failures coupled with the savings from a proactive and scheduled maintenance is driving firms’ investment in Transformer Monitoring Systems (TMS).

Standard TMS commercial packages in the market mainly consist of simple transformer monitors with basic functionalities. Those interested in more complex solutions must opt for expensive customized systems that have been conceived for Large Power Transformers (LPT) usually > 16MVA, and built upon proprietary systems. These solutions are not cost-effective for the low and medium power transformers’ market. Besides this, current TMS do not cover the transport stage involved in the purchase and the installation process. The analysis of the events occurred during the shipment of the PTs would help to detect, before its entry into operation, hidden vices that may manifest years later in the form of a serious failure.

THE IDEA: SCAN-TMS is an innovative cost-effective completely scalable and adaptable in real-time Transformer Monitoring System for all power transformers’ range, not only large power but medium and low power ones. It is the result of a two-year R&D project and it is based on a compact device (hardware) and a personalized diagnosis tool full of functionalities (software) that will support decision-making for preventive and predictive maintenance purposes. Due to different environment’s requirements, two different TMS have been designed and tested: one (SCAN-TMS Transport) to monitor transformers during the transport and installation stages, in which the PTs are de-energized, and a different one (SCAN-TMS Operation) to monitor them under operating conditions (energized).

This Feasibility Study (FS) has a main objective: to analyse the commercial, technical and financial viability to get both SCAN-TMS systems into market.
The work performed has been:

Market analysis: We analysed existing PTs and TMS markets. For both of them, we defined market value, market trends, market barriers and segments. Our systems’ end users, their needs and benefits were defined. Competitors and competing solutions were deeply studied and SCAN-TMS’s superior offer contrasted. We have selected and prioritized our definitive target segments for entering into the market. We have an accurate picture of our SCAN-TMS systems’ positioning, as we have in-depth evaluated the competitors’ solutions and have compared to them.

Freedom to Operate analysis: After performing an in-depth Freedom to Operate analysis, the novelty of both SCAN-TMS Transport and Operation is not already protected by any published patent. In fact, Transport system is currently the only one available solution in the market to these purposes, so we have applied for a Spanish patent (appl. Number P201830552), which provides an international coverage of 12 months. After these months, we will decide the countries where we will extend the patent scope. Regarding the Operation system, we will work under industrial secret to keep on developing our final version.

Technical Work Plan (WP): A detailed plan of the activities to get both SCAN-TMS systems into market was deployed. Subcontracting requirements in all the project phases were identified. We will need 24 months to achieve the final results. The budget for this 2-year project amounts for €1.45M.

Business Plan: A thorough Business Plan for both Transport and Operation systems has been issued. Results are optimistic for the launching of our SCAN-TMS business line, which will result on an increase of our international dimension and will positively impact on our commercial and financial indicators. We have finally decided to commercially launch both systems within a sole commercial business line, as they can also be complementary.

Conclusions: SCAN-TMS project will position REYCON as a TMS leader at European level, contributing to our scale-up. In view of these conclusions, REYCON will pursue the project. External funding will be required to afford it. Reycon have decided to submit a proposal for Phase 2 of SME instrument, for applying to a 70% grant over the budget. The rest of the required funding will be obtained through our own funds and bank loan (if needed).
PROGRESS BEYOND THE STATE OF THE ART: Currently, SCAN-TMS Transport is the only one specific data-logger in the market to monitor internal and environmental parameters during the shipping of PTs. Regarding SCAN-TMS Operation, it offers a wider range of configuration options and scalability than their competitors do, it is the most cost-effective solution in relation to price, quality, and number of features for all types of PTs’ ratings, and it is the most exhaustive “all-in-one” solution.

IMPACT AND USE

COMPANY: SCAN-TMS is the project that will lead Reycon to become a European leader and innovative reference in the field of TMS. This fact will open new international markets and positively influence REYCON’s sales and financial results. It will also lead to new jobs creation in the company directly related to the new business line.

USERS: Our end users are those companies with important pains derived from the economic and/or productive losses due to failures in PTs. Among other benefits identified, we can summarize the following: monitoring of all critical parameters to control the correct functioning of the PT in real time and in a user-friendly way. Prevent costly impacts by allowing the user to take corrective actions during PTs’ operating life. Quality data collection in real time and via remote access. Integration with Business Intelligence tools and with Internet of Things systems. Being an integral system, the transformer database, algorithms, expert system and diagnostic function are all in one intelligent device. Low complexity for installation, use and interpretation, easily customizable. Modular and scalable architecture for future expansions.

SOCIO-ECONOMIC AND IMPACT AND WIDER SOCIETAL IMPLICATIONS:
Energy system’s reliability is one key element to successful delivery of quality products and uninterrupted operation of any industry. At the end of 2015, the EU adopted the new Strategic Energy Technology (SET) Plan, which outlines the need to increase the resilience, security and smartness of the energy system, in order to maintain the competitiveness of European industry. Our SCAN-TMS offers companies a cost-effective solution that allows to reduce potential energy losses, unnecessary investments and maintenance costs, so the energy cost will be better controlled, energy efficiency will increase and it will positively affect the final consumers. This system can be used throughout the entire energy value chain, leading to positive economic impacts.
Additionally, SCAN-TMS will have positive environmental implications, by contributing to reduce CO2 emissions into the atmosphere due to system inefficiencies. Furthermore, certain PTs failures lead to environmental damages, due to the use of contaminant oils. Anticipation in the failure detection is essential to prevent them.
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