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Disruptive Innovations and Emerging Technologies for Large Power Transformers

Submissions Closed


In collaboration with the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), TechConnect Ventures is seeking disruptive technologies with the long-term potential to replace the current state-of-the-art in Large Power Transformers for power generation by reducing the overall transformer size and improving ease of replacement.

Responses are invited from individuals and organizations around the world that describe novel concepts, emerging technologies and/or breakthrough capabilities and solutions to address this challenge.

Innovators from every sector are invited to submit a response, including – but not limited to – academia, research, industry, national labs, non-profits, consultants, start-ups, small business and medium to large corporations.



  1. Top technologies will be featured in an upcoming EPRI Utility Innovation Report
  2. Potential collaborations, development and/or demonstrations with EPRI*

Long-term: Potential for facilitated research, development and deployment of operable technologies.*

    * Contracts, financial terms and timelines are dependent on the nature and scope of the proposed technology. Any and all such agreements are at the sole discretion of and are solely negotiable between EPRI and the respondent, if selected by EPRI.

TechConnect Top Innovators: In addition to potential collaborations with EPRI, TechConnect may select one or more highly impactful responses ("Top Innovators") to participate in an upcoming TechConnect Conference, Expo, Showcase, or Virtual Pitch Event.


Large Power Transformers (LPTs) are one of the largest high consequence reliability-vulnerable components at a power plant. The failure of a LPT can result in significant consequences for health, safety, security and the environment. Additionally, severe disruptions can cause generating stations to be taken off-line for months at a time, resulting in large scale service disruption while waiting for a replacement to be installed and ready for operation. The LPTs in operation today are based on the basic technologies and designs established during the 1900's, and nearly 75% of all LPTs operating in the U.S. are more than 25 years of age.

The primary issues with existing LPT technologies are their inherent size, cost, complexity, and lack of interchangeability. An average LPT costs multi-millions of dollars, weighs hundreds of tons and requires thousands of gallons of oil for operation. As a result, lead time on replacing LPTs is 2 to 5 years for new construction and emergent replacement means at least 10-30+ days of down time. Moreover, the logistics of transporting LPT components for construction is massively complicated and highly limiting from a resiliency perspective.

In recent years, the United States Department of Energy has prioritized LPT innovations through multiple different programs (e.g. TRAC and ARPA-E) and there is reason to believe that significant innovative solutions may yet exist beyond those currently being funded.

The objective of this Request is to identify the most cutting edge, emerging technologies which can replace, eliminate or offset the size-based limitations of current technologies and designs associated with Large Power Transformers (LPTs), and to further identify opportunities for EPRI to collaborate and facilitate development of such new technology in the near- and long-term.


EPRI is seeking potential partners of all types to propose novel alternatives to existing LPT technologies based on either defensible concepts, ongoing research, demonstrable capabilities or existing products.

Technologies are sought which can address one or more of the following innovation challenge topics:

    Topic #1: Disruptive High-Voltage Transmission Technologies to Replace Traditional Large Power Transformers
    Topic #2: Alternative Designs for the Optimization or Modularization of Large Power Transformers
    Topic #3: Other Disruptive Innovations, Technologies and Materials for Large Power Transformers


Viable submissions to this Request will describe only those innovations which have a direct impact on the Large Power Transformer and its operations. Solutions describing innovations to equipment, facilities or operations that are either upstream or downstream of the LPT in the power generation and power distribution process are not of interest.

Some of the potential solutions to this problem may include, but are not limited to:

Topic #1: Disruptive High-Voltage Transmission Technologies to Replace Traditional Large Power Transformers
  • Solid State technology
  • Plasma technology
  • Hybrid transformers
Topic #2: Alternative Designs for the Optimization or Modularization of Large Power Transformers
  • Modular technologies
  • Compatibility with smart grid
  • Development of flexible LPT
  • Design optimization
  • Design standardization
  • Computational modeling
  • Size reduction of traditional components
Topic #3: Other Disruptive Innovations, Technologies and Materials for Large Power Transformers
  • Advanced materials
  • Enabling components
  • Insulation
  • Novel lubricants
  • Logistical solutions
    REMEMBER… We don't know what we don't know!
    If your technology is not highlighted above, but meets the Request requirements please consider submitting a response to CHALLENGE #3 in order to enhance your exposure to new commercial opportunities. Your solution may be an ideal solution to this global Utilities need!


Submit only NON-CONFIDENTIAL information
Submissions for this Request include two items:

  1. The Submission Webform (available under on "Submit Innovation")
  2. One (1) Supplemental File (maximum file size 10MB)

The Submission Webform will include summary information about your innovation as it relates to this Request, including:

  • Contact, team and organizational information
  • A non-confidential summary of your technology or innovation, including relevant details about it addresses or meets the innovation requirements of this Request
  • Development status and readiness level
  • Value proposition and (potential) commercial impact
  • Development and scale-up pathway (if available)
  • Funding and award status (if applicable)
  • Intellectual property position
  • Type of partnership or commercial relationship sought with Innovation Seekers
  • Company or organizational profile

The Supplemental File will include a more detailed description, presentation, pitch or other overview of the innovation. Supplemental Files should expand on or enhance the summary information provided in the Submission Webform. Treat the Supplemental File as an opportunity to provide prospective collaborators with insight into your technology, capabilities and/or potential of your innovation(s).


EPRI and TechConnect Ventures will evaluate all responses.

Based on the nature of the innovation and strength of the response relative to all submissions received, top innovators may be selected for further discussions, for reference in an EPRI Innovation Report, or to be invited to participate in pitches which may lead to contractual or commercial engagements for the research, development or commercialization of the most promising technologies.