Story: Energy-efficient EREA transformers for mobile battery systems

Story: Energy-efficient EREA transformers for mobile battery systems
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This story is a collaboration between Rexel, Neargrid and EREA.

The future is electric. But while the transition to an electric car can be relatively easy, construction companies are facing more difficulties to make the switch. Heavy construction machinery such as tower cranes requires a heavy grid connection, which is often not available on a site. That's why Neargrid has developed mobile battery systems that facilitate the electrification of construction sites. Quite a challenge, considering the diversity of network topologies and consumers. Luckily resolved by EREA's energy-efficient, blue e³ transformers. Sustainable quality, made in Belgium.

Diesel generators on a construction site?

If it is up to Neargrid, they will soon be a thing of the past and we will transition towards 'clean' construction sites. The Lokeren-based company has a clear mission: help construction sites become greener.

That’s why it focuses on the design and production of mobile battery systems that can supply power to the various consumers on site. Yes, even tower cranes. Thanks to Neargrid's plug-and-play solutions, the high peak power that such cranes require when starting up can also be met with a limited power grid connection.

A development that did not happen without some technical challenges and struggles along the way. In order for the mobile battery systems to be deployed on any construction site in Belgium, they have to be compatible with the different grid topologies

For example, there is still an old 3 x 230 V grid in Brussels while, in other regions, it is a 3 x 400 V grid. In addition, it must be possible to link them to all kinds of consumers. Including to the tower cranes we already mentioned, which often work with frequency inverters. 

Good for energy consumption, but complex when it comes to managing the leakage currents that can trip differential protection devices upstream.

An efficient transformer, that was what Neargrid needed

But not just any transformer. Energy efficiency is also a prerequisite for a sustainable construction site. Rexel representative Mathias De Jaeger therefore suggested EREA's blue e³ range: the ECT22000/IRC and ECT44000/IRC

These transformers stood out not just because of their superior energy efficiency, but also due to their IRC (inrush current) characteristic. Connecting a transformer to the grid requires quite a high inrush current. However, IRC transformers do not require more than the rated current to magnetise the core, an area in which EREA has been pioneering for years. 

These transformers also meet Neargrid's last requirement: separate leakage currents at the input (grid side) and output (site side), without any problems. This means that no adjustments are required upstream in the circuit to ensure leakage current protection.

As always, Rexel managed to perfectly bridge the gap between manufacturer (EREA) and end customer (Neargrid). The result is a plug-and-play mobile battery system that can be easily integrated into existing processes. But Rexel has gone one step further in this project. By keeping a minimum quantity in stock, they always have a logistics buffer for Neargrid, which ensures that they can always supply their customers swiftly.

Partners involved in the project:

  • End-user: Neargrid
  • Manufacturer: EREA
  • Electrical wholesaler: Rexel

The efficient use of electricity ...

... and other forms of energy have never been so crucial. This can be done, among other things, by using devices that have a low energy loss, such as the highly energy-efficient EREA transformers from our Blue e3 range. In this type of transformer, losses (no-load and copper losses) are kept to an absolute minimum.


Calculate your return on investment with this online calculator. Definitely worth testing. 

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