Tag Archives: Trafo Power Solutions

TRAFO FAST TRACKS DRY-TYPE TRANSFORMERS FOR BISIE IN DRC

Alphamin Resources’ remote Bisie tin mine is being supplied with fit-for-purpose dry-type transformers by Johannesburg-based Trafo Power Solutions, in a fast track project that will see the complete solution manufactured in just 12 weeks.

Bisie’s location – some 160 km north-east of Goma in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s North Kivu province – places constraints on the transformers’ installation that have been taken into account in their careful selection and design.

“With a very difficult access road to the mining operation, the substation and transformers have been custom designed to withstand the many stresses expected during transport,” says Trafo Power Solutions managing director David Claassen. “To deal with the extreme heat and humidity of over 90%, we have also designed the ventilation and airflow in-house.”

The delivery will involve the movement of two 3000 kVA, 400 V / 11 kV cast resin transformers housed in six metre high cube containers. The consignment will also include the ventilation systems, lighting and small power equipment. These transformers will be used for stepping up the supply from a diesel powered generator plant – from 400 V to 11 kV – to feed the mine.

Project scope also includes two 100 kVA, 400 V / 400 V Dyn11 dry-type lighting transformers for application outdoors.

“The design of these dry-type transformers makes them suitable for the climatic conditions at the mine,” says Claassen. “They require only a minimal movement of air across the windings to cool them down, although forced air options can also be employed where necessary if ambient temperatures rise high enough.”

The higher efficiency of the cast resin design means that heat losses are lower, along with cooling requirements. This efficiency also reduces the energy consumed by these transformers, and hence will reduce diesel consumption in this application.

“An important advantage in this remote location is that dry-type transformers are almost maintenance-free and could last for 25 years without significant attention,” he says. “Oil-filled transformers require regular maintenance including oil sample analysis to ensure operational consistency and safety.”

With no oil required as a coolant, the dry-type transformer is simple, safe and installable indoors without the need for its own civils infrastructure such as bund walls and structures to ensure safety and environmental protection.

“Trafo Power Solutions works with customers to engineer technically appropriate and proven solutions for their applications,” says Claassen. “The fact that we can design and manufacture within this project’s tight deadline is further evidence of our flexibility and ability to meet demanding schedules.”

DRY-TYPE MINI SUBSTATION NOW AVAILABLE FROM TRAFO

Trafo Power Solutions is extending the benefits of dry-type transformers by offering customised dry-type mini substations as a complete and customisable electrical distribution solution for users in mining, industrial, marine, commercial and residential applications.

“Using the well-proven dry-type transformer technology from global leader Hammond Power Solutions (HPS), we are now able to design and deliver mini substations that are specific to customer requirements,” says David Claassen, managing director of Trafo Power Solutions.

Mini substations are traditionally built with oil-cooled transformers, says Claassen, but the incorporation of dry-type technology makes the new offering safer due to less fire risk. In addition, dry-type units require less maintenance and present no possibility of environmental contamination through oil-spills. The units include a medium voltage switchgear for the incoming power source, a primary step-down transformer and a low voltage distribution board all contained within an enclosure.

“Customers have flexibility when it comes to the design and manufacture of the enclosure, as we can use various thicknesses of mild steel to suit the harshness of the conditions, and provide options for mobility such as a wheeled base or a skid-mounted base,” he says. “We also give the customer the freedom to choose their preferred brands on the medium voltage and low voltage switchgear.”

The capacity range offered is from 315 kVA up to 1 000 kVA, with a variety of voltages from 3,3 kV up to 11 kV on the medium voltage side and from 400 V to 1 000 V on the low voltage side.

“The transformer itself is specifically designed for Trafo Power Solutions by HPS in Italy according to our specifications, conforming to the IEC 60076-11 standard for dry-type units,” says Claassens. “Headquartered in Canada, HPS has over a century of experience in transformer design and manufacture, so have fine-tuned the application of transformers in mini substations for a range of environmental conditions. Trafo Power Solutions conducts the in-house design of the fit-for-purpose enclosure.”

He notes that an issue previously restricting the use of dry-type transformers in mini substations has been the provision for adequate cooling in an enclosure that is usually located outdoors.

“The enclosure must be well sealed to prevent the ingress of dust and moisture, but must still allow sufficient air flow to cool the transformer,” he says. “This challenge has been solved by the application of a specialised dual fan system, which pulls in fresh, cool air while simultaneously extracting the hot air.”

DRY-TYPE MINI SUBSTATION NOW AVAILABLE FROM TRAFO

Trafo Power Solutions is extending the benefits of dry-type transformers by offering customised dry-type mini substations as a complete and customisable electrical distribution solution for users in mining, industrial, marine, commercial and residential applications.

“Using the well-proven dry-type transformer technology from global leader Hammond Power Solutions (HPS), we are now able to design and deliver mini substations that are specific to customer requirements,” says David Claassen, managing director of Trafo Power Solutions.

Mini substations are traditionally built with oil-cooled transformers, says Claassen, but the incorporation of dry-type technology makes the new offering safer due to less fire risk. In addition, dry-type units require less maintenance and present no possibility of environmental contamination through oil-spills. The units include a medium voltage switchgear for the incoming power source, a primary step-down transformer and a low voltage distribution board all contained within an enclosure.

“Customers have flexibility when it comes to the design and manufacture of the enclosure, as we can use various thicknesses of mild steel to suit the harshness of the conditions, and provide options for mobility such as a wheeled base or a skid-mounted base,” he says. “We also give the customer the freedom to choose their preferred brands on the medium voltage and low voltage switchgear.”

The capacity range offered is from 315 kVA up to 1 000 kVA, with a variety of voltages from 3,3 kV up to 11 kV on the medium voltage side and from 400 V to 1 000 V on the low voltage side.

“The transformer itself is specifically designed for Trafo Power Solutions by HPS in Italy according to our specifications, conforming to the IEC 60076-11 standard for dry-type units,” says Claassens. “Headquartered in Canada, HPS has over a century of experience in transformer design and manufacture, so have fine-tuned the application of transformers in mini substations for a range of environmental conditions. Trafo Power Solutions conducts the in-house design of the fit-for-purpose enclosure.”

He notes that an issue previously restricting the use of dry-type transformers in mini substations has been the provision for adequate cooling in an enclosure that is usually located outdoors.

“The enclosure must be well sealed to prevent the ingress of dust and moisture, but must still allow sufficient air flow to cool the transformer,” he says. “This challenge has been solved by the application of a specialised dual fan system, which pulls in fresh, cool air while simultaneously extracting the hot air.”

TRAFO SUPPLIES DRY-TYPE TRANSFORMERS FOR ZUIKERBOSCH WATER TREATMENT WORKS

The advantages that a dry-type or cast resin transformer offers played a role in Trafo Power Solutions securing an order for thirteen custom designed units. These dry-type transformers are destined for installation at the large scale Rand Water Zuikerbosch Water Treatment Works.

David Claassen, managing director of Trafo Power Solutions, says that is it most gratifying for the company to have received this order only months after the business was established. Claassen, an electrical engineer with broad ranging and high level experience in many sectors, recently established Trafo Power Solutions to distribute and service transformer products in Africa from Canada-based Hammond Power Solutions (HPS).

The contract to supply all the cast resin transformers for this waste water treatment facility will include units that range from 100 kVA up to 1600 kVA. Included in the scope of supply is the complete earth fault protection system which will be in the transformer enclosures.

Claassen says that the rationale for a project to go the route of using cast resin or dry-type transformers is for a number of reasons. “Prime among these is the inherent safety offered by these units as well as ease of installation given the fact that they are installed inside built substations as opposed to outdoors with associated special bunding and civils.

Dry-type transformers are categorised as F1 in terms of international fire resistance ratings, making them low risk as they are self-extinguishing and flame-retardant by nature. With zero risk of fire, the high safety rating of dry-type transformers allows them to be installed indoors, avoiding the cost and inconvenience of the special structures normally required to accommodate the safety and environmental hazards related to oil-filled units.

“And this results in savings because there is no need for costly civils and site work to be done,” Claassen adds

Less maintenance is another advantage; dry-type transformers are low in maintenance and could last for 25 years without significant attention, while oil-filled transformers require regular maintenance including oil sample analysis to ensure operational consistency and safety.

Claassen says that the units have been witness tested at the manufacturing facility and are scheduled for delivery to site in the first quarter of 2018.

AFRICA’S UPTAKE OF DRY-TYPE TRANSFORMERS SET TO GROW

Already popular in North America and Europe, dry-type transformers will soon be seeing greater take-up in Africa through a more concerted entry and support strategy from global leader Hammond Power Solutions (HPS).

According to Andrea Giacometti, regional sales manager of the HPS Europe, the company’s recent acquisition of key technology pioneers Euroelettro Hammond and Marnate Trasformatori in Italy has placed the company in a strong position to grow into Asia and Africa. It also acquired PETE in India, a leading manufacturer of power and distribution transformers in Andhra Pradesh.

“As the world’s largest producer of dry-type transformers, HPS’s Italian acquisitions have led to a strong technology base in Europe from which we have already expanded into Asia,” says Giacometti. “The technical excellence of our plants in Canada, US, Mexico, Italy and India give us the ability to recommend and apply the right solution for a range of applications and industries.”

Marnate, for example, has manufactured dry-type transformers since the 1970s and has been at the forefront of cast-resin technology. As with HPS’s other facilities, it operates at the highest levels of quality and safety, compliant with global standards and certified by international bodies like CESI and TUV.

He says HPS Europe is now working closely with Trafo Power Solutions in South Africa to boost its Africa footprint in a strategic and forward-looking manner.

“At HPS, we develop our products in line with our customers’ applications and needs,” he says. “The real innovations in this field are not just the technology itself, but the way we apply these technologies with our customers. We work with our customers to find solutions.”

David Claassen, managing director of Trafo Power Solutions, highlights that flexibility is the focus in the way that both HPS and Trafo approach their work.

“The application will determine the enclosure design and the transformer design,” says Claassen. “In our modus operandi, ‘one size fits all’ definitely does not apply.”

In fact, Trafo Power Solutions does not see itself as simply a distributor of products. In line with the approach that HPS has always adopted, it is a solutions-driven company.

“We work with customers to engineer technically appropriate and proven solutions for their applications,” he says. “HPS has longstanding experience in a host of technologies, which matches well with my experience in working with various sectors and applications around Africa.”

Responding to the trend towards greater use of renewable energy, HPS Europe has developed several dry-type transformers for renewable energy markets such as photovoltaic, wind and biomass co-generation. Already, their impregnated transformers and inductors are installed in many inverter cubicles used in the conversion of wind or solar energy.

“This will most certainly be a growth area for Trafo Power Solutions in Africa, as we see growing investment in energy generation from renewable sources,” says Claassen. “Renewable energy is a very demanding application for any transformer; ambient temperatures tend to be high and the environment is often dusty. These transformers supply a 100% non-linear inverter load that is high in harmonics.”

This requires high levels of technical capacity and experience in terms of structural design, heat dissipation and electrical characteristics specification. Trafo Power Solutions is well placed to take advantage of these opportunities as HPS has already supplied hundreds of units into these conditions.

Among the core benefits of the dry-type transformer design is its safety and cost-effectiveness. Due to the absence of oil as a coolant, the dry-type transformer is simple and safe, allowing it to be installed indoors without its own civils infrastructure.

Dry-type transformers will soon be seeing a greater take-up in Africa due to concerted efforts from global leader Hammond Power Solutions.

DRY-TYPE TRANSFORMERS IDEAL FOR TREND TO MODULAR SUB-STATIONS

The introduction of Trafo dry-type transformers to the African market comes just at the right time for the end-user, as a number of industry sectors embrace the growing trend towards modularised substations.

“Due to the various benefits and the cost effectiveness of modular substations – which are fitted into either a marine container or a specially fabricated E-house – dry-type transformers are becoming more popular,” says David Claassen, managing director of Trafo Power Solutions. “The Trafo dry-type transformer is ideally suited to this application as it can be mounted inside the modular structure; this cannot be done with the traditional oil-filled transformer.”

Claassen highlights that safety is the prime concern in the design and construction of substations. Due to its design and the absence of oil as a coolant, the dry-type transformer is simple and safe, allowing extensive test work to be conducted with the modular unit prior to the full solution being sent to site. This in turn reduces the costs associated with site installation, assembly work and commissioning.

“There is an historical misconception that dry-type transformers are too large to be housed within a container, but this is not so,” he says.

Including the dry-type transformer inside of the modularised substation has the cost saving benefit of eliminating the need for civils infrastructure that is needed for oil-filled transformers have to be located outside of the substation for safety reasons. This type of civils work includes foundations and a plinth on which the unit can stand as well as special purpose bunding walls to contain oil leaks This not only increases the cost of the installation, but lengthens the time frame in which the substation can become operational, and the cost of this additional civils infrastructure in the more remote areas of Africa is also particularly high.

The Trafo dry-type transformer is ideally suited to this application as it can be mounted inside the modular structure.

Sourcing dry-type transformers from industry pioneer and leader Hammond Power Solutions (HPS) gives Trafo Power Solutions the flexibility to meet specific and unusual requirements from customers.

Drawing on the depth of technical expertise within HPS and its manufacturing facilities in Italy, an appropriate solution can always be found without compromising the quality of the product.

“In a recent E-house application that Trafo Power Solutions provided for a mining project in Sierra Leone, a 2,000 kVA dry-type transformer was specified as part of the mobile mining unit,” says Claassen.

“We supplied four dry-type transformers in total: two 800 KVA units, one 1,600 KVA unit and one 2,000 KVA unit. The unusual voltage levels that were required – 13,2 KV/480 V at 60 Hz – demonstrated our flexibility in meeting specific customer requirements.”

The focus at Trafo Power Solutions is all about finding a solution for the customer, he says, outlining other elements that made this project a success. The scope of supply included temperature control units along with cooling fans. These will be automatically switched on in the event of a failure of the master cooling system and will ensure minimum downtime while the system is repaired.

Another useful function of the cooling fans is to allow the transformer to increase its power output in the event of an overload situation. Surge arrestors for each transformer were supplied as an added protection against the risk of an unstable voltage supply.

Parts of the substation such as potential transformers (PTs) are specifically designed and manufactured for outdoor use with a rating 13,2 KV/110 V AC, 500 VA for protection purposes mounted near the auto reclosers.

Including the dry-type transformer inside of the modularised substation has the cost saving benefit of eliminating the need for civils infrastructure.

Claassen says that because these mobile mining units are transported to site and in some instances moved from area to area within a mine, it is critical that the structural integrity meets this type of arduous application. “Trafo transformers are engineered to withstand harsh vibration and are robust in construction, however where required it is possible to reinforce the rigidity further.”

“We find solutions and offer flexibility through understanding the customer’s specific needs and applying an agile approach,” he says. “Traditionally, this type of equipment would be on the critical path for a project, but we managed to have them manufactured within a five-week window, which allowed for a rapid delivery to the customer.”

Claassen emphasises the high energy efficiency of these transformers, leading not only to lower energy consumption but also to less energy loss through heat; this means less is demanded from the ventilation and cooling systems on these units.

An extra benefit – especially for remote sites such as mines in rural areas of Africa – is that a dry-type transformer is virtually maintenance free, significantly lowering its operating cost.