How a Project of Serbian Scientists Can Prevent Malfunctions of Electrical Energy Equipment Worldwide

Source: eKapija Monday, 14.08.2023. 15:44
(Photo: Aleksandar Parezanović)
In the previous article, we presented the innovative project of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering for the reconstruction of the existing thermal power plants running of coal, and now we are presenting another solution meant for the electrical energy system. The project GreenCleanS, meant for power companies in Serbia, but also the region and the world, will secure the prevention of malfunctions of electrical energy equipment, as well as the implementation of ecological technologies for the recycling of unusable insulation liquids. The project, one of the 20 supported by the Science Fund of the Republic of Serbia within the Green Program of Cooperation of Science and Economy, is realized by the Institute of Electrical Engineering “Nikola Tesla” and the Faculty of Technology and Metallurgy at the University of Belgrade.

As the head of the project, Dr. Jelena Lukic, explains for eKapija, GreenCleanS is a unique technology based on low-temperature ecological treatment, which doesn’t emit pollution and which removes elemental sulfur with great efficiency, unlike the existing technologies in the world, which can emit pollution, do not remove elemental sulfur and, what’s more, generate it as a byproduct of the procedures of the reactivation of the adsorbents that are used. Application for an international patent is planned.

– The introduction of GreenCleanS in practice will enable the forming of 3 PINTs (three patented technologies of the Nikola Tesla Institute for the removal of corrosive sulfur, PCB and oil aging products), as a unique multifunctional technology for: PCB decontamination, re-refining and recycling used oils and preventing malfunction of electrical energy equipment due to corrosive sulfur – explains Dr. Lukic.

As she says, when it comes to the prevention of malfunctions of energy transformers, the market is above all international, among other things, due to the existing hazardous practice in oil regeneration with reacting adsorbents (online) and can be done through license agreements.

– The implementation of the GreenCleanS technology will secure the removal of the unwanted (corrosive) sulfurous compounds from the insulation oil, which form electrically conductive metal sulfides which cause electrical discharges and malfunctions of energy transformers – our interviewee explains how this technology prevents the malfunctioning of transformers.

Facility for recycling of used oils

The project envisages a facility for the recycling of used oils which would be meant primarily for the market of the Republic of Serbia and the region.

– The recycling of used oils can help save resources, that is, recycled oil becomes a new product which can be reused in energy transformers, which is also supported through international standards (IEC 60296). This procedure achieves the reduction of the amount of generated waste and great savings through a lower price of recycled insulation oil compared to new insulation oil, and that is very important to point out, because the quantities of transformer oil in the electrical energy system and industry in the Republic of Serbia are very big, on the level of 80,000 tons. The waste which is generated from the process of recycling is not dangerous waste and can be used further for various purposes in construction, as a filler in asphalt bases, or as a secondary energy source for combustion in blast furnaces in foundries – says Dr. Lukic.

Still, as our interviewee notes, in order for the technology to be implemented in practice, an investment in the building of a new industrial facility is needed, which would be able to work as a mobile (in the locations of energy transformers) and a stationary facility (for the recycling of used insulation oils collected from various locations into the recycling center). The capacity is around 3 tons a day, and it could be subsequently increased in line with the needs of the market.

In addition to investments in the equipment, there need to be incentives for the power companies and industry, that is, benefits for the use of recycle oils (tax reduction or some other incentives), and on the other hand, fees for the alienation of used oils as waste should be implemented, says Dr. Jelena Lukic.

– For a sustainable implementation of GreenCleanS and 3-PINTs in the future, promotion in the society on all levels about what green energy means, how one can contribute to the reduction of the carbon footprint of the products and the processes and which procedures and technologies we can use in order to help the Republic of Serbia be carbon-neutral one day, is important. It is also necessary to invest in education and the hiring of the best young people who could further upgrade the process by implementing new recycling technologies and company operations based on circular economy – our interviewee concludes.

M. Dedic

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