11 January 2012 – In recent years greater use has been made by mines and municipalities of prefabricated mobile medium voltage substations in place of conventional brick substations.
“Besides their lower cost and portability compared with the standard brick structures, their big advantage is that they can be brought in complete, connected up and put into operation fairly quickly. The quality of the sheet steel type of container and its sturdiness also make it suitable for rough terrain use,” Alec Duff, Actom MV Switchgear’s marketing manager says.
The mobile substations designed and manufactured by Actom MV Switchgear, all custom-built according to customers’ requirements, are suitable for voltages of between 3.3 kV and 33 kV.
“Many of those for mining applications are made with skids to enable them to be hauled at site over rough ground, whereas municipalities and other users usually go for either wheeled units that can be towed to site, or without wheels, which are delivered direct to site by crane truck,” Duff says.
One of the company’s recent orders was for four skid units to supply power to the Cut 8 project at Debswana diamond company’s Jwaneng mine in Botswana.
“They are 6.6 kV units, each weighing 14 tonnes and four metres wide by seven metres long and 4.5 m high. The switchgear mounted inside the container consists of an incomer and four feeders, two of which supply power to shovels and two to drills.”
Caption: Actom MV Switchgear’s marketing manager Alec Duff (right) and tendering engineer Phil Myburgh stand in the doorway of one of the mobile substations the company designed and manufactured for Jwaneng diamond mine’s Cut 8 project.