11kV Supplies

11kV, if you did not know is the main voltage used for distributing energy. For domestic and (most) business use the voltage of energy is dropped to 415 or 240V. This makes the energy safe to use and be interacted with by users (such as plugging in an appliance, so the risk of electrocution is not ridiculously high).

Larger energy users, however, will have an 11kV supply to their premises and then will own their own transformers which drop the electricity voltage so it becomes safe to use. Unfortunately, many of these transformers are old, and we mean really old.

Old electric equipment can often develop faults becoming defective just with age, so many of these transformers are inefficient and are wasting a lot of energy. Businesses will all pay for the energy they use – so even though the energy is being lost by the transformer’s ineffective practices it still counts as ‘used’. This means that many large businesses are not just wasting energy, but also money.

Especially in the current economic climate many businesses cannot be affording to lose money – especially on things which are useless and costly like wasted energy. This is where Energy Solutions can help; we can help and support you through your energy efficiency journey.

Saving you money whilst also reducing your energy consumption is what we pride ourselves on. First, let us learn a little more about what 11kV supply means, and then look at what savings can be made and why we are the best choice to help you figure out your energy efficiency.

An Intro to 11kV

In the UK, 11kV is the standard secondary distribution voltage. This is because transmitting electricity at this rate allows for a large amount of energy to be distributed at once which increases efficiency and is a cost effective option for transmitters. Additionally, the voltage is still relatively low which means the energy remains easy to manipulate and handle throughout the distribution network. This increases safety and again increases efficiency as it reduces the risk of damage or injury, slowing the process and endangering lives.

11kV is also able to be manipulated and transmitted without the need for specialist equipment or approaches; this makes it a more accessible process for workers and also saves money holistically as money is not spent on securing adequately trained staff etc. 

Substations are areas that supply the energy for a local area. Their main function as stations is to collect the high voltage energy being transmitted from the generation station and then reduce the voltage. The reduction of the voltage takes place in order to make the energy an acceptable level for local distribution. As aforementioned, this is between 240-415V. The substation consists of two main roles:

  1. simple switching between transmission lines,
  2. conversion from AC to DC (or vice versa), or from higher to lower (or vice versa) frequency

There are some main aspects of a substation which are listed below:

IsolatorThe isolator connects or disconnects the incoming circuit when the supply is already interrupted. Isolators are also used for breaking the charging current of the transmission line. An isolator is placed on the supply side of the circuit breaker so that the circuit breaker isolated from the live parts of the maintenance
Lightning ArresterThe lightning arrester is a protective device which protects the system from lightning effects. The lightning arrester has two terminals one is high voltage and the other is the ground voltage. The high voltage terminal is connected to the transmission line and the ground terminal passes the high voltage surges to earth.
CT MeteringThe metering CT measure and records the current when their secondary terminal is connected to the metering equipment panel.
Step-down TransformerThe step-down transformer converts the high voltage current into the low voltage current.
Capacitor BankThe capacitor bank consists series or parallel connection of the capacitor. The main function of the capacitor bank is to improve the power factor of the line. The capacitor bank then draws the leading current to the line by reducing the reactive component of the circuit.
Circuit BreakerThe circuit breaker interrupts the abnormal or faults current to flow through the line. A circuit breaker is a type of electrical switch which opens or closes the contacts when the fault occurs in the system.

11kV for Larger Users

As aforementioned, larger users of energy manage their own transformer which converts their 11kV supply to usable energy. However, this is largely inefficient as most transformers do not use energy effectively and often waste a lot of the money users are spending on their energy consumption.

When looking to reduce energy consumption many larger businesses will turn to green changes such as using solar panels or switching out bulbs for smart lighting methods such as dimmer switches or sensors. This is usually in a bid to reduce consumption and relieve some of the energy expenses larger users endure.

However, most of this will be wholly ineffective if such a large aspect of your energy consumption process is faulty, like most transformers are. The challenge for businesses is to look beyond the obvious, quick fixes of energy consumption and instead invest time and energy into their business to help reduce costs and limit consumption. Energy Solutions can help support any size of business in reducing their consumption and hence energy costs and have some expert advice in this particular field.

Transformer replacements can look expensive and unnecessary, often transformers are situated far away from large premises and so it is very easy to forget they exist and thus not pay them much thought when considering energy usage. Some businesses may not even understand what they are. However, that is why here at Energy Solutions we are going to leave you feeling assured and confident in the facts regarding 11kV supply.

Reasons You Should Upgrade Your Transformer

  1. Outdated and Ineffective

Many power transformers are incredibly outdated – with some estimates saying the average transformer is around 50 years old. Electrical equipment is not designed to last that long, and it will not be performing in its optimum capacity anymore. Through lost energy due to  inefficient conduct, old transformers will cost businesses a lot of unnecessary energy costs; money which, if saved, could be put to much better use within your business. Years of wear and tear have not fared transformers well and, while they served very well, the time has come for most transformers to retire and allow another to take the reins.

  • Technological Advancements

With the likes of most energy (and all) technology, transformer technology has vastly improved over the last 50 years. The significant improvements include updates such as ultra-low loss amorphous transformers. If thinking green is important to your business, as it should be, then by all means continue updating your energy consumption by investing in solar panels and other green methods, but it is also important that you invest in your transformer too. The aforementioned transformer exceeds all environmental expectations of transformers these days, and will significantly reduce energy loss and wastage – saving energy and money, and the planet!

  • Voltage Management

Time for a bit of energy jargon. Modern transformers have a lower nominal voltage of 11kV. They are typically supplied with an additional tap setting of +7.5%. This means that modern transformers serve as a cost-efficient management device because they regulate the site supply voltage at the source. This management offers users substantial savings in their energy expenses, which is always welcome!

  • Payback and Capital

Payback, typically, on a completed project will take LESS THAN 5 YEARS. That is a phenomenal turn-around on your investment! The average life expectancy of a modern transformer is 30 years. This means there are 25 years minimum where you are reaping the rewards of energy savings before reinvesting. That is such a promising payback ratio, and well worth the investment!

  • Environmental and Climate Responsibility

Many businesses are beginning to seriously tackle their carbon footprint and their environmental impact. This is really important news for the planet, and the more businesses can do the better. Transformers are a sure-fire way to ensure that your business is not just saving itself money, but also saving the planet and lives of others. Energy and carbon savings are guaranteed, and this is a very good thing for the planet. Additionally, the money you will earn in capital in the 25 years of replacing your transformer can be used to put back into your business, ensuring you have the greenest infrastructure and legislations possible. This will result is massive money and green savings for the future!

Companies such as Unilver, Arla, Rolls Royce  and United Biscuits have already saved money from upgrading their transformers. Why not reduce your energy consumption, and save money, today?

At Energy Solutions we have many services and products which will bring your business a step closer to saving money, energy, and the planet. Please do get in touch to find out how we can help and support your business today!

For more information about this post and how Energy Solutions can help with your Electricity, Gas, or Water, click on the links, or check out the contact details at the bottom of the page.