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Current driven transformer

The electrical transmission system of most developed countries is ageing and under increasing load, which gives rise to equipment wear-out failures. This diminishes system reliability and increases the global cost of operation. Since the grid is constrained to expand, a possible solution is to optimize the operation and improve the inspection and maintenance of the existing power system.

Transformers for contactless power supplies in high voltage lines
Transformers for contactless power supplies in high voltage lines

Through such process the goal is to maximize utilization, boost efficiency and enhance reliability of the transmission network. The use of autonomous robots in inspection and maintenance plans of overhead transmission lines is a valid option to achieve such a task while minimizing costs and ensuring worker safety.

The power supply of the robot has been identified has a crucial component in the viability of the project.

Recent developments have determined that a power supply based on the magnetic energy around the power transmission line is feasible and possesses significant advantages over known options, such as enabling the robot to operate unattended for long periods of time and permitting weight reduction of the power supply.

To use the magnetic energy, a current driven transformer is clamped around the power line, functioning mechanically alike a current probe.

The purpose of this thesis is to develop adequate design models for this current driven transformer and contribute to more accurate results. A systematic analysis of this current transformer is given, and various computer design models are presented and validated against extensive experimental load tests carried out in transformers that were built during the course of a recent work in the area.

Furthermore, a capacitor is connected to the transformer secondary in order to establish a resonant circuit and therefore increase the output power transferred to the load without increasing the size of the core. Design procedures for this case are displayed and related to computer simulation.

Load tests are presented and compared with the case without the capacitor.

Schematic concept of RIOL and D-FACTS
Figure 1 – Schematic concept of RIOL and D-FACTS

Context and State of the Art

Power utility companies in most of the developed countries are facing the problem of operating and maintaining electrical transmission systems that are ageing and under increasing load, whilst being constrained to expand the grid.

The process of ageing gives rise to equipment wearout failures and the increased demand for electricity results in congestions, significantly increasing the stress-related faults. Hence, future system reliability is diminished and the global cost of operation is increased, not only from constraints in total power transfer capacity but also from the required expansion, redundancy and added maintenance plans.

Typically, these are the industry practices, yet the inherent high costs of equipment and labour, as well as time-frame, associated to the planning and construction of high voltage lines have impaired such solutions. Also, the growing public sentiment against locating new transmission power lines in the communities is an important deterrent.

Given that the modern way of life and industrial infrastructure needs an ever-growing amount of affordable and reliable electricity, it’s clear that power utility companies are forced to maximize utilization, efficiency and enhance reliability of the existing transmission system. This critical issue must be implemented while minimizing operation and maintenance costs, in order to avoid a significant increase in the price of electricity.

To achieve such a task, possible options are the use of autonomous robots in inspection and maintenance plans of overhead transmission lines and the use of Distributed Flexible Alternate Current Transmission Systems (D-FACTS) to control power flows in the transmission grid.

Figure 1 (see above) shows a conceptual schematic for each of these solutions.

Title: Current driven transformers for contactless power supplies in HV lines – Francisco Martins Farinha Barata Serrano, Thesis to obtain the Master of Science Degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering at Tecnico Lisboa University
Format: PDF
Size: 2.9 MB
Pages: 106
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Current driven transformers for contactless power supplies in HV lines
Current driven transformers for contactless power supplies in HV lines

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2 Comments


  1. Bunty
    Feb 04, 2020

    Nice information


  2. Vijayaraghavan G
    Feb 04, 2020

    Current driven power supply for transmission lines has been around for quite sometime and used mainly for powering aviation obstruction lights on the powerline structures.

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