Smart distribution transformers

Overview of the status and impact of the innovation

Innovation 2


Smart distribution transformers are equipped with remote monitoring, access and control capabilities, which allows them to better control electricity use and direction.


These advanced features improve grid security and power services and increase reliability by constantly adjusting the voltage on feeders to grid substations; this enables the grid to adapt to the changing charging loads of vehicles connected to the same feeder, thereby making it possible to increase the EV charging capacity.

BOX 3.10 Smart transformer terminals facilitate EV charging in China

In 2021, China started to pilot the application of the smart power distribution transformer terminal to support optimal EV charging. The terminal creatively uses architecture comprising a common hardware platform, an edge operating system and app-based service applications and has the functions of data collection, storage, computation and secure encryption communication to support secure, efficient and effective interoperation between power distribution networks and customers. The terminal supports area load monitoring, equipment health status analysis, charging load control and other services.

The terminal is installed on the low-voltage side of the transformer; communicates with the charging piles in the transformer service area; and enables operation monitoring for the charging piles, charge state uploading, the regulation of charging/discharging power and the control of charging/discharging, among other functions. Supported by these functions, the terminal enables a comprehensive data analysis of the local load condition, user behaviour and charging facility operation and provides optimised charging schemes to realise orderly charging. The terminal has been deployed in pilot projects in more than 10 provinces of China and received positive social and economic benefits.

Source: CEPRI, personal communication, 2022.