Mini-substations for Motor Plant Boasts Dry-type Transformer

Dry-type transformer specialist Trafo Power Solutions will supply two custom-engineered mini-substations to a significant motor plant expansion near Pretoria. 

The two units will be located outdoors, serving to power the lighting system and security requirements of the facility, as well as other loads. While most mini-substations are equipped with conventional oil-cooled transformers, these units have dry-type transformers – delivering a number of benefits to the customer. 

500kVA cast resin type mini substation for outdoor installation.
Mini substation housing built for outdoor application with 500kVA cast resin transformer.

500kVA dry-type cast resin transformer housed within a mini substation for outdoor application.

David Claassen, managing director of Trafo Power Solutions, says these include security and environmental factors.

“Used by both the private and public sector, mini-substations must often be located in unprotected areas, making them vulnerable to vandalism and theft,” Claassen says. “The oil-cooled transformers are often targeted for the copper in their windings, as well as the oil for the cooling system.”

The dry-type transformer’s windings, by contrast, are cast in resin so the copper or aluminium cannot be readily accessed. There is also no oil to harvest, further reducing the incentive for criminals to destroy the structure. 

“In terms of environmental considerations, the dry-type transformer does not require any additional protective structure like walls or bunds to contain leaking oil or fire,” he says. “These units also require very little maintenance, easing the managerial and technical burden on the owner.”

While these two transformers are manufactured in TMC Transformers’ world-class facility in Italy, the design and manufacture of the balance of the mini-substation is carried out in South Africa. This gives Trafo Power Solutions a high level of control over the quality of the final product, says Claassen.

“This also allows us to fully test the equipment locally before it is delivered, installed and commissioned on site,” he says. “We embrace the opportunity to manufacture locally as much as we can, to support local industries and enhance job creation.”