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Features Zurich, Switzerland 09-02-2021

4 min read

Enel to increase grid reliability by deploying digital transformers from Hitachi ABB Power Grids

Txpert Enabled Transformer in Cortina Dampezzo

Enel Infrastructure and Networks division is deploying the TXpert™ Ecosystem for digitalization of transformers from Hitachi ABB Power Grids. These will be its first digital power transformers equipped with advanced data-driven capabilities to measure transformer aging perform and real-time analytics on transformer health. The TXpert™ Ecosystem can also enable virtual site management, contributing to increased grid reliability and quality of service.

This collaboration between Enel and Hitachi ABB Power Grids will start in Italy, where Enel distributes around 200 TWh units of electricity to more than 30 million end-users. The pilot phase of the project will take place in Enel’s substation of Cortina D’Ampezzo using two 40 MVA TXpertTM digital power transformers. This will increase reliability of the electrical grid in the well-known mountain resort of Cortina, situated in the heart of the southern Alps in Veneto region of Northern Italy.

First hosting the Winter Olympics in 1956, Cortina has been home to several world-famous winter sports events. It will host the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in 2021 and the Winter Olympics for a second time in 2026. Substation operators in Cortina habitually face challenging weather conditions such as heavy snowstorms in winter - and they have recently been contending with the COVID-19 pandemic. Deploying service workers to regularly check transformer health is expensive and may not always be possible due to the harsh weather conditions, something made easier by the digital power transformers technology.

How are digital transformer technologies revolutionizing the power industry?

Research published by CIGRÉ(1), a leading, global nonprofit organization in the field of high-voltage electricity, found the benefits of transformer monitoring has the potential to deliver 75% reduction in repair costs due to early detection, a 60% reduction in revenue loss due to unanticipated, problems or outages, a 50% reduction in risk of catastrophic failures and annual cost savings up to 2% of the price of a new transformer. 

TXpertTM enables a data-backed, scientific approach for measuring transformer aging and performing analytics on transformer health.

“With TXpertTM we will optimize the operations and maintenance of our transformers. We expect to improve reliability and reduce risk with consequent life extension of transformers, looking at the company targets of a more sustainable grid and better power quality,” said Flavio Mauri, from Enel’s Infrastructure and Networks division. “Together with Hitachi ABB Power Grids we will create value by deploying intelligent solutions for the main components of electricity networks”.

As per another recent CIGRE report (2), the top three locations of faults in transformers are windings, tap-changers and bushings. Our TXpert Ecosystem mitigates all of these and in the future will enable the customer to implement remote and advanced services which can provide virtual site management and life assessments. 

About Hitachi ABB Power Grids Ltd.

Hitachi ABB Power Grids is a global technology leader with a combined heritage of almost 250 years, employing around 36,000 people in 90 countries. Headquartered in Switzerland, the business serves utility, industry and infrastructure customers across the value chain, and emerging areas like sustainable mobility, smart cities, energy storage and data centers. With a proven track record, global footprint and unparalleled installed base, Hitachi ABB Power Grids balances social, environmental and economic values. It is committed to powering good for a sustainable energy future, with pioneering and digital technologies, as the partner of choice for enabling a stronger, smarter and greener grid.

About Enel Group

Enel is a multinational power company and a leading integrated player in the global power, gas, and renewables markets. It is the largest European utility by ordinary EBITDA, and is present in over 30 countries worldwide, producing energy with over 87 GW of installed capacity. Enel distributes around 470 TWh of electricity through a network of over 2.2 million kilometers, and with more than 74 million business and household end users globally, the Group has the largest global customer base among its European peers.


Project scope of Hitachi ABB Power Grids supply to Enel -

The digitalized transformers will be equipped with TXpert Hub (CoreTec 4), which will analyze data coming from TXpert Ready sensors. These sensors include Hitachi ABB Power Grids CoreSense, a digital device for tracking the level of dissolved gases, self-dehydrating breather, liquid level indicator, winding temperature indicator, liquid temperature indicator, Buchholz relay and pressure relief device. The transformers are also equipped for digital monitoring of bushing.

Intelligence and data collected from the above will be sent directly to Enel’s control room and further analyzed with help of Hitachi ABB Power Grids APM Edge asset performance management software, ensuring that these critical assets are always available and utilized in the most optimal way. 


1.     CIGRE, Technical Brochure 248

2.     Transformer reliability survey, CIGRE Working Group A2.37, 2015