In business, fiscal imperatives often prevail over social values and ethics, which is unfortunate. This tends to occur most frequently when companies aim to reduce uncertainty and mitigate cost. However, this type of behavior has come at great cost – not only to the companies but also to the planet – and companies are now making an effort to become more sustainable.
The challenges facing all businesses, especially those in the industrial, electrical, and energy sectors, are growing more difficult each and every day. Projects are getting bigger and with that come greater risks, costs, and complexity. At the same time, society is changing and demanding more from these companies. That’s precisely why so many businesses are making the effort to become more sustainable as they head into the future. Choices like opting for a sustainable energy transformer are now becoming the norm.
Because transformers are used in almost every commercial sector, there is a wide range of choices when it comes to which one is best. Normally, a transformer is a device that will be in service for years to come. Because of such a long lifespan, the operating cost of a transformer can exceed its initial price, so choosing the right one is imperative. Often, a sustainable transformer is the more economical choice, even though it may cost more upfront, the savings over time will be noticeable.
Environmental factors to consider
When making any decision regarding energy, it is important to not only consider cost, but also the impact on the environment. This is especially true when considering a transformer. It is often best to repair an existing transformer when possible – but sometimes a brand new transformer is needed. When selecting a new transformer, it is paramount to choose one that causes as little environmental damage as possible – this will inevitably improve the public image of the company but will also reduce costs and avoid penalties.
One key concern when choosing a new transformer is biodegradability. The first question to ask is, “To what extent can this transformer’s fluid be absorbed into the environment without any negative effects?”
Only those transformers that have been fully accredited by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and conform to the guidelines set by the Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive (RoHS) are recognized to be truly sustainable. Non-toxic transformer oil is essential in the event of a spill, which is especially important in the case of an offshore transformer, where any spills could leak into the ocean. Though many companies opt for synthetic esters for their sustainable transformers, an even greener solution is to go with natural transformer fluids, many of which are manufactured using renewable seed oil.
When choosing a transformer, it is a good idea to compare competing transformer models by looking at the load and no-load losses (in watts) and what the projected cost of ownership is. No-load losses are those that occur whenever the transformer is energized and cannot be avoided. Sustainable transformers typically have fewer no-load losses than traditional models.