We see them every day, without even knowing what they are……just hanging around. Different styles, and colours. My son asked me one day while driving, “what’s that thing hanging on the pole”, I proceeded to get all technical about how transformers work and how big they get and how many applications they are used for. I was talking for a good half hour not realising that my audience of one had fallen asleep just as soon as the question was asked.
But what is a pole mount transformer you may ask?
Well, a pole mount transformer is just that, a transformer mounted on a pole, they alter the medium ‘primary’ voltage of the overhead distribution lines to the lower ‘secondary’ voltage for distribution. Distribution transformers are normally located at a service drop, where wires run from a utility pole or underground power lines to a customer’s premises. They are often used for the power supply of facilities outside settlements, such as isolated houses, farmyards or pumping stations at voltages below 30 kV. Another application is the power supply of the overhead wire of railways electrified with AC. In this case single phase distribution transformers are used.
The number of customers fed by a single distribution transformer varies depending on the number of customers in an area. Several homes may be fed off a single transformer in urban areas; rural distribution may require one transformer per customer. A large commercial or industrial complex will have multiple distribution transformers. In urban areas and neighbourhoods where the primary distribution lines run underground, pad mount transformers, transformers in locked metal enclosures mounted on a concreted pad, are used. Many large buildings have electric service provided at primary distribution voltage. These buildings have customer-owned transformers in the basement for step-down purposes.
It can be mounted on the ground on a special concrete base as well,
Or on an “A” Frame as you can see in the pictures below,
Depending on the size, ranging from 1kv to 400kVa, the mounting of these units changes
Pole mount transformers can be manufactured as either oil immersed, or dry type
These distribution transformers are designed in such a nature as to minimise any iron losses, reason being that they operate 24hours a day, even at no load being drawn.
In most part, these transformers are maintenance free, the most common reason for failure is caused by either strong winds blowing foreign objects across power lines, and lightning strikes.
All in all these transformers are essential to our distribution network.
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