DISTRIBUTION TRANSFORMER TYPES BASIC AND TUTORIALS


Distribution transformers may be installed on poles, on the ground on pads, and under the ground directly or in manholes and vaults. The transformers used in these types of installations differ mainly in their packaging, as the internal operating features are very much the same.

Overhead Transformers
The overhead type of distribution transformer is mounted directly on a pole by means of two lugs, welded to the transformer tank, that engage two bolts on the pole, as shown in Figure 11-2a; this is known as direct mounting, in contrast to older methods in which the transformer was bolted to a pair of hanger irons that were hung over a cross arm.


Figure 11-2a. Direct pole mounting of a transformer (Courtesy Westinghouse Electric Co.)


Where more than one transformer is required, as in power banks, the transformer lugs engage studs on a bracket which is bolted, like a collar, around the pole; the units form a cluster around the pole, from which the term cluster mounting is derived; see Figure 11-2b.


Figure 11-2b. Cluster mounting of transformers. (Courtesy Long Island Lighting Co.)


Where the load (weight) of the transformer or transformers may be too great for the pole, they may be placed on a platform erected between two or more poles in a structure, or they may be placed on a protected ground-level pad.

Pad-Mounted Transformers
Transformers may be mounted on concrete pads at, or slightly below, ground level within an enclosure or compartment that may be locked for protection. These are generally installed as part of so-called underground residential distribution (URD) systems.

The transformers may have their energized terminals exposed when the compartment is open, or the terminals may be mounted behind an insulating barrier and connections from the cables made through bayonet-type connections on insulated elbows which are plugged into jacks connected to the terminals; these units are referred to as dead-front units and provide an additional margin of safety.

Underground Transformers
In the underground type of transformer, also called the subway type, the tank is not only hermetically sealed for water tightness, but its walls, bottom, and cover are made thicker to withstand higher internal and external pressures; the cover is bolted to the tank (with intervening gaskets) by a relatively large number of bolts, and in some instances, welding is used. These units are designed to operate completely submerged in water.

In larger units, where cooling of the tank itself is not sufficient, radiator fins are welded to the tank to provide additional cooling surface, or pipes are welded to the tank for the circulation of oil through them; in the latter case, the additional surface of the pipes as well as the circulating oil is useful for cooling.

Connections to the supply cables are made by means of watertight wiped joints between a fluid-tight bushing and the cable sheath. Another means provides for the making of connections in a chamber attached to the transformer tank in which the primary-voltage transformer windings are brought out in fluid-tight bushings.

In some units, this chamber also houses high-voltage disconnecting and grounding switches. Where these units supply low-voltage secondary networks, they also house the network protector in another watertight compartment, usually situated at the opposite end of the transformer tank from the primary connection and switch chamber.

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