SUSU Researchers Increase the Energy Efficiency of High-voltage Transformers for Large Manufacturing Enterprises


The issue of energy efficiency is more relevant now than ever. This is an especially hot topic for industrial giants. This is due to the constant growth of prices for electricity, heating, and energy – and large industrial enterprises require a lot of electricity. A logical strategy for energy efficiency is necessary to reduce costs on paying the bills.

Today, many large industrial enterprises in Russia and abroad are equipped with modern systems of high-power reversible electric drives which include high voltage, multilevel transformers. Modern high voltage transformers make it possible to build energy-efficient electrical energy conversion systems and, as a result of optimized work modes, increase the lifespan of motors and make it possible to meet energy quality requirements.

Since many metallurgical businesses in the Chelyabinsk Region use high voltage, multi-level transformers, this topic is one of great scientific interest. Alexander Maklakov, Candidate of Technical Sciences, Associate Professor of the Department of Mechatronics and Automation of the SUSU Polytechnic Institute, is working in this field of interest under the guidance of Andrey Radionov, Professor, Doctor of Technical Sciences. His project “Energy-efficient Management of Three-level Voltage Transformers with a Fixed Neutral” was one of the winners of the Support for Young Science contest, held at SUSU as part of Project 5-100.

“During the operation of high voltage, multi-level transformers, some issues occur related to electromagnetic compatibility with energy use. The optimal settings make it possible to support the necessary power for the client with minimal losses. This is why we are working on developing new energy-efficient methods of controlling power semiconductor converters,” explains Alexander Maklakov.

Energy conservation is the main area of the Russian electrical energy field. The main goals are to minimize losses and the extraction and processing of raw carbon materials, since by saving funds on electrical energy we also save raw materials. High voltage multilevel converters are quite widespread in the Chelyabinsk and Chelyabinsk Region industrial enterprises, mainly metallurgical businesses, but also mining and oil-and-gas industry businesses.

“Modern electrical energy and industry need highly effective transformers, storage, and transfer of electrical energy. Unfortunately, in Russia, high voltage transformers of electrical energy are only worked on by a few individuals and there are practically no research projects in the country analogous to the one we are completing.”

Researchers at South Ural State University are implementing a new type of system as part of a partnership agreement with the Magnitogorsk Metallurgical Factory. Part of the work is related to improving the work of powerful voltage transformers. Experiments are placed directly at the businesses, and by their results, recommendations for implementation are given.

“Within our practical research we are planning on creating a laboratory installation of transformer technology. This installation will not just be used for my research, but also for the work of postgraduate students and Master Degree students in our Department. The installation will be built for this project, so it will be a unique system,” says Alexander Sergeevich.

The results of Alexander Maklakov’s research were presented at the large international IEEE conference (The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers), IECON 2016, in Florence, organized by the Industrial Electronics Society of the IEEE.

“The main literature on our topic of research is located in the digital library of the IEEE. The open access to international scientific databases which is offered by the SUSU scientific library allows us to keep up with the international trends,” stresses Alexander Maklakov.

The Support for Young Science contest, held at SUSU as part of Project 5-100, pushes many young researchers to go to the international level. Alexander Maklakov has 2 articles on the results of his research which were sent for review to highly-rated international journals in the top 25% according to the Scopus database. Of course, in the future, the young researcher has set a goal to publish in the top 10 and continue his research, as well as defend his doctoral thesis.


Olga Romanovskaya, photo by Oleg Igoshin
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