Not Just A Supplier But Also A Key-Collaborator: Royal Smit Contributes To The Energy Transition And The Development Of The Digital Materials Passport.

In 1886, the first street lighting in the city of Nijmegen in the Netherlands was put into operation – with a steam engine, dynamo and arc lamps from “W. Smit & Co.”. Not only the Royal SMIT company, but the entire energy industry has undergone enormous change since then. But what has remained unchanged over all these years has been the desire to provide the Dutch industry and households with an uninterrupted and stable supply of electricity.

Ksandr: The “collective brain” of the Dutch energy sector

On the one hand, energy suppliers and distributors have to deal with future topics such as intelligent power grids – on the other hand, the current power supply in the Netherlands is based on grids that are decades old in some cases. It is therefore important to preserve knowledge and experience and draw the right conclusions for the future from them. Securing and passing on knowledge – that is the mission Ksandr is dedicated to. On the company’s website, the foundation describes itself as the “collective brain” of the power utilities, bundling shared knowledge across companies and using it for expert exchanges, fault investigations, training or studies.

The materials passport : an important step towards to circular economy

Some utilities in Europe have made it compulsory to submit a materials passport with each new bid. As a starting point for building a circular economy strategy, information on four main materials are being recorded in the materials passport:

  • Copper
  • Core sheet
  • Steel for the structural parts of the transformer
  • Oil

The EU Eco-Design directive already requires a certain standard of the copper and E-steel material. The materials passport complements the directive and documents the recycled content of the material and the potential recyclability at end of life.

The starting purpose of the materials passport is to establish a base-line on the recycled content and potential recyclability of the material used in new assets (as well as old) to enable strategy development for circular economy initiatives. The head-line goal here is to realize a closed circular economy by 2050 in The Netherlands.

Due to the active interest in contributing to the energy transition and also with operational experience in recycling of assets, Royal SMIT was asked by Ksandr in March 2020 to participate in the co-development of the digital materials passport.

For many months, the team, which included utilities and OEMs, worked tirelessly and overcame obstacles to develop a functional design with a data management process. And all this without compromising the integrity of the respective supply chains.

Ksandr Live XL 2020: Royal SMIT co-presents digital material passport and practical aspects of recycling at industry meeting

On the 18th of September, Royal Smit together with TenneT and Ksandr presented the inner workings and demo of the platform during the yearly Ksandr Live XL event. As a key partner of the Dutch transformer supply chain, we were privileged to be part of this project.

The digital materials passport will be fully operationally released in Q4 2020 and will be used in the sector from 2021 onwards!

We were also privileged to run a workshop together with TKF (Twentsche Kabelfabriek) on the theoretical aspects of filling in the materials passport vs the practical aspects of material feedstock based on the topics of;

  • 100% recyclability of transformer mineral oil vs practical availability of recycled transformer oil (feedstock) and acceptance by the industry
  • 100% recycled Aluminium in cables vs acceptance of increased losses vs down-cycling of the Aluminium from cables

Royal SMIT as co-designer of the Dutch energy future

For our Dutch group member Royal SMIT, the participation in industry events is important for two main reasons:

  1. Enable development of new business models and strategy together with the entire industry
  2. Leverage the rich 100+ years of knowledge and experience to further enrich the energy transition.

Royal SMIT and industry collaboration: a sustainable commitment for the future of Dutch energy supply

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