Cooler transformers could help electric grid

The Stampede2 supercomputer at the Texas Advanced Computing Center at The University of Texas at Austin. Credit: TACC

Most people do not give the U.S. electric grid a second thought—we flip a switch, and the lights come on. Behind the scenes are thousands of power plants and utilities linked by millions of miles of transmission lines. To make raw electricity useful, grid transformers convert high voltage to lower voltage that millions of households can plug into.

Transformers are aging and approaching an average of being 30 to 40 years old. Plus, they face more stress than ever before brought on …

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