Transformers are an important component in the energy supply network and require a legal framework for various reasons. In addition to safety regulations for work on transformers, there are laws and regulations that prevent damage to public property or the environment. Legal frameworks also ensure that, for example, building regulations are complied with or that digital data is handled accordingly. This article provides an overview.
Legal framework for energy supply
When the European Union (EU) launched the decentralisation and liberalisation of the European electricity and gas grids in the 1990s with the Single Market Directives 96/92/EC and 98/30/EC, the generation, trade and distribution of energy were opened up to competition.
Since then, this opening has been accompanied by various, continuously changing laws and regulations.
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Companies that are both grid operators and energy suppliers must separate their grid operations from other business processes in terms of accounting, organisation and content. There are also extensive registration, publication and reporting obligations. As well as the obligation for energy suppliers to also offer time-of-day tariffs or tariffs that are dependent on electricity demand.
Furthermore, depending on their size, energy plants are also considered critical infrastructures (CRITIS). This means that they must implement minimum standards against threats, document them and prove them regularly.
Energy suppliers and energy companies should therefore not only comply with various rules and laws, but also invest in modern and secure software or IT systems with which they can react easily and map and document required standards for climate and consumer protection.
Transformers and their insulating oils are important parts of the energy network
Transformers are essential for energy networks and suppliers. They are used at all levels of the power supply grid to increase or reduce the voltage.
For the planning, construction and operation of transformers, the applicable European and international standards must be observed:
- General information on power transformers IEC 60076-1:1993, modified + A1:1999
- Safety of transformers, power supplies, reactors and combinations thereof IEC 61558-1:2017
But the insulating oil in transformers is also embedded in a legal framework. This is because it ensures the functionality of the transformers and serves both to cool or remove heat and to electrically insulate the windings. Transformer oil is also important for the operational monitoring of transformers and provides important indications of possible weak points - long before major damage is apparent.
Thus, regular examinations and analyses with regard to oil quality (dielectric-chemical tests) as well as gas and liquid chromatographic examinations ensure largely trouble-free operation of transformers. The condition assessment of insulating oils in transformers and tap-changers is also based on guidelines.
Insulating oil samples are tested in a certified laboratory according to IEC 60422 or IEC 61203. These international standards are a guide to monitoring and maintaining the insulating oil quality in electrical equipment. They apply to insulating oils or transformer esters used in transformers, switches and similar electrical equipment.
Read more about this:
- Laboratory services for insulating oils: What you need to consider
- Power Supply: Transformer oil management for all grid levels
- EOS® Interview: 5 tips for sustainable transformer oil management
Transformers are technical installations in energy supply and, together with their insulating oils, contribute to a functioning energy network. They are embedded in a legal framework that is not only extensive but also continuously changing. This brings with it comprehensive requirements for energy suppliers.
Did you know that you can reuse used transformer oils after proper oil treatment? More infos on this in the following blog article:
Kilian GerblKilian Gerbl is Head of Sales for Electrical Oil Services GmbH. He is responsible for all commercial-related topics in Europe – this includes customer relationship management as well as new project and business development. His key focus is to expand the EOS activities across Europe and further implement the sustainable EOS Closed-Loop model.
Tel: +49 151 5351 5373