HomeIndustry SectorsAsset MaintenanceMini-subs, dry-type transformers safeguard environment at vehicle plant

Mini-subs, dry-type transformers safeguard environment at vehicle plant

A recent expansion to South Africa’s automotive industry is benefiting from the installation of 10 dry-type transformers and two mini-substations supplied by Trafo Power Solutions.

The units, for a motor plant near Pretoria, range from 3150kVA to 4MVA and were custom designed and manufactured to the exacting requirements of the electrical consultants on the project.

The air-cooled format of the dry-type transformers offers the new vehicle manufacturing facility an environmental benefit insofar as there is no risk of oil leaks. The units are also low maintenance and have a high safety rating due to minimal explosion risk.

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David Claassen, managing director of Trafo Power Solutions, explained that each transformer was required to meet particular design challenges. With the six 3150kVA units and the 4MVA unit, for instance, fault levels had to be kept to a certain predetermined maximum. The design parameters for the two 1600kVA units had to ensure they could withstand a relatively high harmonic content.

He added that working closely with the customer to finalise the design specifications, as well as with the manufacturing partner TMC Transformers in Italy, “we were able to meet the tight turnaround times”.

Delivering transformers during pandemic restrictions

“Like the rest of the world, South Africa faces various freight challenges since the outbreak of the pandemic, but our innovative strategies ensured that shipping and customs arrangements were closely managed so we could land the equipment as needed,” said Claasen.

“One of our strengths is being able to collaborate positively with both consultants and contractors in high-pressure contracts like this one,” he said. “This allowed us to achieve the required designs within the strict schedules, so the end result would be fit-for-purpose and delivered on time.”

Trafo Power Solutions’ flexible and proactive approach allowed them to deliver fully on the project despite occasional disruptions related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Claassen noted that the company was able to engage with the customer face-to-face and through virtual platforms, as conditions required. The company also took responsibility for logistical elements of the contract.

Nicolette Pombo-van Zyl
As the Editor of ESI Africa, my passion is on sustainability and placing African countries on the international stage. I take a keen interest in the trends shaping the power & water utility market along with the projects and local innovations making headline news. Watch my short weekly video on our YouTube channel ESIAfricaTV and speak with me on what has your attention.