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6TransformerTypesYouCanSeeInCommercial

Installations

6TransformerTypesYouCanSeeInCommercialBuildings(photocredit:iml.bg)

TransformerTypesandtheirCharacteristics
Transformersincommercialinstallationsarenormallyusedtochangeavoltagelevel
fromautilitydistributionvoltagetoavoltagethatisusablewithinthebuilding,andare
alsousedtoreducebuildingdistributionvoltagetoalevelthatcanbeutilizedbyspecific
equipment.ApplicablestandardsaretheANSIC57SeriesandNEMATRandST
Series.
Thefollowingsixtypesoftransformersarenormallyusedincommercialbuildings:
1.
2.
3.
4.

Substation
Primaryunitsubstation
Secondaryunitsubstation(powercenter)
Network

5. Padmounted
6. Indoordistribution
Manyothertypesoftransformersaremanufacturedforspecialapplications,suchas
welding,constantvoltagesupply,andhighimpedancerequirements.Discussionofthe
specialtransformersandtheirusesisbeyondthescopeofthisrecommendedpractice.

1.SubstationTransformers
Usedwithoutdoorsubstations,theyarerated7505000kVAforsinglephase
unitsand75025000kVAforthreephaseunits.

Highvoltagetransformer40MVA(Stepsdown150kvto10kVinasubstationinBelgium.Phototaken1983.)

Theprimaryvoltagerangeis2400Vandup.Tapsareusuallymanuallyoperatedwhile
deenergizedbutautomaticloadtapchangingmaybeobtained.Thesecondaryvoltage
rangeis48013800V.Primariesareusuallydeltaconnected,andsecondariesare
usuallywyeconnectedbecauseoftheeaseofgroundingthesecondaryneutral.
Theinsulationandcoolingmediumisusuallyliquid.Highvoltageconnectionsareon
covermountedbushings.Lowvoltageconnectionsmaybecovermountedbushingsoran
airterminalchamber.
GobacktoIndex

2.PrimaryUnitSubstationTransformers
Usedwiththeirsecondariesconnectedtomediumvoltageswitchgear,theyare
rated100010000kVAandarethreephaseunits.Theprimaryvoltagerangeis6900
138000V.Thesecondaryvoltagerangeis240034500V.

PrimaryUnitSubstationTransformer(photocredit:actom.co.za)

Tapsareusuallymanuallychangedwhiledeenergizedbutautomaticloadtapchanging
maybeobtained.Primariesareusuallydeltaconnected.Thetypemaybeoil,less
flammableliquid,air,dry,castcoil,orgas.Thehighvoltageconnectionsmaybecover
bushings,anairterminalchamber,orthroat.Thelowvoltageconnectionisathroat.
GobacktoIndex

3.SecondaryUnitSubstationTransformers
Usedwiththeirsecondariesconnectedtolowvoltageswitchgearorswitchboards,they
arerated112.52500kVAandarethreephaseunits.Theprimaryvoltagerange
is240034500V.Thetapsaremanuallychangedwhiledeenergized.Thesecondary
voltagerangeis120480V.

TrihalDrytypetransformer1600kVA10/0,42kV
connectedtobusbarsystemCanalisKTA2500A
(SchneiderElectric)

Theprimariesareusuallydeltaconnected,andsecondariesareusuallywye
connected.Thetypemaybeoil,lessflammableliquid,air,dry,castcoil,orgas.The
highvoltageconnectionsmaybecoverbushings,anairterminalchamber,orthroat.The
lowvoltageconnectionisathroatbutitmayalsobebybusduct.
GobacktoIndex

4.NetworkTransformers
Usedwithsecondarynetworksystems,theyarerated3002500kVA.Theprimary
voltagerangeis416034500V.Thetapsaremanuallyoperatedwhiledeenergized.The
secondaryvoltagesare208Y/120Vand480Y/277V.

NetworktransformerSubwaytype(photocredit:pioneertransformers.com)

Thetypemaybeoil,lessflammableliquid,air,dry,castcoil,orgas.Theprimaryisdelta
connected,andthesecondaryiswyeconnected.Thehighvoltageconnectionis
generallyanetworkswitch(onoffground)oraninterruptertypeswitchwithorwithouta
groundposition.Thesecondaryconnectionisgenerallyanappropriatenetworkprotector,
oralowvoltagepoweraircircuitbreakerdesignedtoprovidethefunctionalequivalentof
anetworkprotector.
Asubwaytypeunitissuitableforfrequentorcontinuousoperationwhilesubmergedin
wateravaulttypeunitissuitableforoccasionalsubmergedoperation.
GobacktoIndex

5.PadMountedTransformers
Usedoutsidebuildingswhereconventionalunitsubstationsmightnotbeappropriate,and
areeithersinglephaseorthreephaseunits.Becausetheyareoftamperresistant
construction,theydonotrequirefencing.

Padmountoutdoortransformer

Primaryandsecondaryconnectionsaremadeincompartmentsthatareadjacenttoeach
otherbutseparatedbybarriersfromthetransformerandeachother.Accessisthrough
padlockedhingeddoorsdesignedsothatunauthorizedpersonnelcannotentereither
compartment.
Whereventilatingopeningsareprovided,tamperresistantgrillsareused.Gaugesand
accessoriesareinthelowvoltagecompartment.
Theseunitsarerated752500kVA.
Theprimaryvoltagerangeis240034500V.
Tapsaremanuallychangedwhiledeenergized.
Thesecondaryvoltagerangeis120480V.
Primariesarealmostalwaysdeltaconnectedorspecialconstructionwyeconnected,
andsecondariesareusuallywyeconnected.Adeltaconnectedtertiaryisnotacceptable
withathreeleggedcoreunlessanupstreamdeviceopensallthreephasesforasingle
phasefault.
Thetypemaybeoil,lessflammableliquid,air,dry,castcoil,orgas.Thehighvoltage
connectionisinanairterminalchamberthatmaycontainjustpressureordisconnecting
typeconnectorsormayhaveadisconnectingdevice,eitherfusedorunfused.The
connectionsmaybeforeithersingleorloopfeed.Thelowvoltageconnectionisusually
bycableatthebottombutitmayalsobebybusduct.

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Thedrytype,padmountedtransformerdoesnothavetheinherentfirehazardsoftheoil
filled,padmountedtransformerandfrequentlythedrytype,padmountedtransformer
ismountedontheroofsofbuildingssothatitwillbeasneartotheloadcenteras
possible.
ANSIC57.12.221989[5]appliestooilimmersedunitswithprimaryvoltagesof16
340Vandbelow.
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6.IndoorDistributionTransformers
Usedwithpanelboardsandseparatelymounted,theyarerated1333kVAforsingle
phaseunitsand3500kVAforthreephaseunits.Bothprimariesandsecondaries
are600Vandbelow(themostcommonratiois480208Y/120V).

Indoorsubstationtransformer

Thecoolingmediumisair(ventilatedornonventilated).Smallerunitshavebeen
furnishedinencapsulatedform.Highandlowvoltageconnectionsarepressuretype
connectionsforcables.Impedancesofdistributiontransformersareusuallylowerthan
thoseofsubstationorsecondaryunitsubstationtransformers.

Indoorandoutdoordistributiontransformersarealsoavailableatprimary
voltagesofupto34500Vand150kVbasicimpulseinsulationlevel(BIL).

Themajorityoftransformersfordistributingpowerat480Vinacommercialbuildingare
usuallyreferredtoasgeneralpurposetransformersandsecondariesaretypically
ratedat208Y/120V.Thesetransformersaremostlyofthedrytype,andsomeofthe
smallersizedonesareencapsulated.Generalpurposetransformersareusedforserving
120Vlighting,appliances,andreceptacles.
GobacktoIndex

OtherTransformerTypes//
Virtuallyallpowertransformersusedincommercialbuildingsareofthetwowindingtype,
whichmaybereferredtoasisolatingorinsulatingtransformers,andaredistinctfromthe
onewindingtypeknownastheautotransformer.Thetwowindingtype
transformerprovidesapositiveisolationbetweentheprimaryandsecondarycircuits
whichisdesirableforsafety,circuitisolation,reductionoffaultlevels,coordination,and
reductionofelectricalinterference.

Therearealsoanumberofspecialtytransformersusedforapplications,
suchasxraymachines,laboratories,electronicequipment,andspecial
machineryapplications.

Specialtytransformersusedinapplicationswheretheleastamountofleakagecurrent
couldcauseanarcandignitetheatmosphere(suchasinanoxygenatedenvironment)or
causepersonalinjury(suchasinopenheartsurgery)willrequireanungrounded
secondary.

Figure2DirectCurrentElectricArcFurnace(DCEAF)Transformer

Inthemostsensitiveapplications,theleakagecurrentmaybemonitoredandis
controlledbyintroducingagroundedshieldbetweentheprimaryandsecondarycoils.
Suchashieldalsoreduceselectromagneticinterference(EMI),whichmaybepresentin
theprimary.
Reference//IEEERecommendedPracticeforElectricPowerSystemsinCommercial
Buildings