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SA Instrumentation & Control Buyers' Guide

Technews Industry Guide - IIoT 2018

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Trafo dry-type transformers for DRC mine
July 2018, Electrical Power & Protection

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 had to be taken into account during selection and design.

“With a difficult access road to the 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 inhouse.”

The delivery will involve the movement of two 3000 kVA 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 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, although forced air options can also be employed where necessary if ambient temperatures rise too high.”

The high 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,” adds Claasen. “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,” concludes Claassen, “the fact that we could design and manufacture within this project’s tight deadline is further evidence of our ability to meet demanding schedules.”

For more information contact Trafo Power Solutions, +27 (0)11 325 4007,,

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