On May 21 2014 the European Commission adopted the Ecodesign Regulation N 548 to ensure that transformers become progressively more efficient as new power transformers put into service in the EU internal market will have to fulfil minimum energy performance requirements.
Although power transformers are generally very energy performant devices, cost-effective marginal improvements in their energy performance can yield substantial energy savings, taking into account their typical service life of 30 years or more. Given that the number of installed transformers in Europe in 2011 has been estimated at 3.6 million, a figure that is expected to increase to almost 4.7 million in 2025, the impact of today's decision will be considerable.
The resulting energy savings have been estimated at 16TWh per year from 2020 onwards, which corresponds to 3.7 Mt of avoided CO2 emissions (i.e. half of the annual electricity consumption of Denmark - 32 TWh per year).
This new Ecodesign Regulation adds to the list of more than twenty already adopted Ecodesign Regulations covering both household and industrial products, such as electric motors or pumps.
The Regulation covers small, medium and large power transformers used in electricity transmission and distribution networks or for industrial applications and together with few other recent Regulations opens the way of regulating large products.
The application of regulation of large products involves a series of new problems like for example their tests for market surveillance scopes.
Classification of power transformer according to EU Regulation N 548/14.