Russian scientists have found that a new iron-based alloy could reduce energy loss inside electric transformers and motors by 66 per cent.
A magnetic steel core for voltage conversion generally serves as a key element of each transformer. The intra-core conversion process mostly causes loss of electricity through heating.
Researchers from Advanced Energy-Efficient Materials Lab at the National University of Science and Technology MISIS in Moscow are developing a new ferrum-based amorphous alloy with unique specifications, including low loss of electricity and high saturation induction, Sputnik news agency reported.
These specifications make it possible to manufacture smaller cores that heat up less, the researchers said.
"The unique properties of the new material are achieved through an improved composition and by using the melt-spinning method," the researchers said.
"It will be necessary to modify the process for manufacturing transformers with new-alloy cores, and they will cost about 30 per cent more to produce. However, the operation of these transformers for three-five years and reduced loss of electricity will make it possible to recoup greater financial expenses," they added.
Experiments showed that one transformer with a core based on the new alloy and converting 6.6 kilovolts into 220 volts reduces loss of electricity by 66 per cent and makes it possible to save up to 16.3 megawatts annually.
"If we replace all transformers in Moscow with new ones, it would become possible to annually save an estimated $20 million," the researchers said.