Electrical Power & Protection


Mines reduce fire hazards

August 2020 Electrical Power & Protection

Underground mines in southern, central, and west Africa have been seeing the safety benefits of dry-type transformers from Johannesburg-based Trafo Power Solutions.

According to managing director David Claassen, this clientele even includes collieries, where the strictest safety regulations apply with regard to fire hazards.

“The high risk of fire in underground coal mining environments has led to a high demand for dry-type transformers,” adds Claassen. “Among the fire risks that coal mines face are transformer short-circuits as well as fires reaching the transformer.”

He notes that dry-type transformer technology is rated Class F1 in terms of fire protection, ensuring that transformers supplied by Trafo Power Solutions are flame-retardant. “Oil-cooled transformers, on the other hand, are a fire risk due to the oil they contain to cool the windings,” he outlines. “The risk is heightened by the harsh operating conditions in which many transformers must function on mines.”

These transformers also require regular attention and maintenance. Oil samples must be taken at prescribed intervals, and these must be tested at a laboratory with the appropriate accreditation. Testing must be conducted to ensure that oil purity is within bounds, and to check for gas levels and pressure build-up in the oil tank.

“This maintenance can present challenges and added costs if the equipment is located on a remote mine far from a source of expertise and the right equipment,” explains Claassen. “With dry-type transformers, it is really only the temperature that requires monitoring. The equipment comprises limited componentry, so generally requires servicing only twice a year.”

He highlights that these regular inspections are brief and simple, taking just a couple of hours. Key aspects to be checked are the physical termination connections – which must be tightened to the right torque – and any dust that has gathered around the core and windings must be cleaned away.

Trafo Power Solutions has in recent years supplied dry-type transformers – along with ancillary power equipment such as low and medium voltage switchgear – to mines in South Africa, Mozambique, Zambia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana and Sierra Leone. In addition to coal, there are gold and base metal producers included in this clientele.




Share this article:
Share via emailShare via LinkedInPrint this page

Further reading:

TeSys Giga with digital innovation
Schneider Electric South Africa Electrical Power & Protection
Schneider Electric has announced the release of the new generation of TeSys Giga series motor starters.

Read more...
Zest WEG minimises downtime at local mine
Zest WEG Group Africa Electrical Power & Protection
Zest WEG has supplied one of its locally manufactured MV switchboards to a gold producer in Gauteng.

Read more...
Dry-type transformers for auto plant
Electrical Power & Protection
An important 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.

Read more...
Low profile 5 kW PSU with outputs up to 200 VDC
Vepac Electronics Electrical Power & Protection
Vepac has announced the addition of a low-profile enclosure to the HPT5K0 series of high efficiency 5 kW AC-DC power supply modules.

Read more...
DC-DC converters
Vepac Electronics Electrical Power & Protection
Vepac Electronics offers an extensive portfolio of power converters.

Read more...
AC-DC power supplies
Vepac Electronics Electrical Power & Protection
Vepac Electronics offers a strong range of AC-DC power solutions, covering 3 W to 10 000 W.

Read more...
Schneider boosts next generation TeSys Giga offering with digital innovation
Schneider Electric South Africa Electrical Power & Protection
Schneider Electric has announced the release of the new generation of TeSys Giga series motor starters.

Read more...
Cummins offers a range of solutions for load-shedding and back-up power
Electrical Power & Protection
Cummins’ technology is particularly suited to dealing with load-shedding due to features such as full load acceptance for critical equipment.

Read more...
Differential pressure transmitter for asymmetric pressure differentials
Vepac Electronics Electrical Power & Protection
Halstrup Walcher’s PS 17 differential pressure transmitter has been designed to measure asymmetric pressure differentials in standard applications.

Read more...
Compact voltage tester without batteries
Vepac Electronics Electrical Power & Protection
The Profisafe LSP 4 is a compact voltage tester without batteries and all test functions are maintenance-free.

Read more...