To most people, installing an electrical transformer is a simple process. The reality is a lot more complex; one has to make sure that every step of the process is carried out correctly. Some of the complications associated with improper transformer installation have far-reaching consequences. Some of these include:
- Repeated power outages: When a transformer is not installed properly, it is more prone to accidents. This results in an increased risk of power outages downstream. If the transformer in question is a major one (i.e. it handles more than 400kVa of power), this becomes even more significant.
- A risk of personal injury: There are a variety of ways in which an improperly installed transformer could cause personal injury. These include having it fall on pedestrians, or having one of the power lines snapping if the device is installed overhead. These are incidences that could result in lawsuits.
- Increased chance of vandalism: In some parts of the world, transformers are prone to vandalism. The use of high quality fasteners is one of the measures that are normally taken to guard against this.
The role of fasteners in safe and effective transformer installation
Choosing appropriate fasteners can go a long way in preventing most of the problems mentioned above. Typically, Inconel center lock nuts, alloy steel hex tap bolts and other specialized types of fasteners are preferred for such installation. They are usually tough enough to support the weight of the transformer, and also have the appropriate composition to resist any chemical or electrical influence on them. A measure as simple as choosing the appropriate fasteners prior to installation will therefore result in lower running costs and greater reliability of the transformer.
The security aspect
If the transformer is going to be installed in a location with a high risk of vandalism, proper precautions need to be taken to protect it from the same. The most effective would be to use safety fasteners. These are designed such that undoing them requires tools with special characteristics and which can’t be easily found. Most fastener manufacturers will create custom safety fasteners for their clients on request. The benefit of this is that since you will have come up with the design on your own, you can be relatively sure that the chances of anyone else being able to undo the fasteners will be slim. Most transformers are hugely expensive which makes this approach a reasonable one.
The importance of consulting the transformer manufacturer
Different transformer manufacturers have different requirements regarding the use of fasteners. It is important to consult them whenever you are unsure about what types of fasteners to get for initial installation or subsequent maintenance. Most will be in a position to offer detailed information regarding the best types of fasteners to get, as well as how to install them for more reliable results.
In summary, fastener choice and use are two concepts that should never be neglected during transformer installation. Ignoring them often results in catastrophic accidents in future, and could also lead to unnecessary loss of money.
Started my career in the fastener world in 1969 at, Parker Kalon Corp. a NJ based screw manufacturer located in Clifton, NJ working in inventory control, scheduling secondary production and concluding there in purchasing. In 1971 I accepted a sales position at Star Stainless Screw Co., Totowa, NJ working in inside sales and later as an outside salesman, having a successful career at Star I had the desire with a friend to start our own fastener distribution company in 1980 named: Divspec, Kenilworth, NJ. This was a successful adventure but ended in 1985 with me starting Melfast in August 1985 and have stayed competitive and successful to date. Melfast serves the OEM market with approximately 400 accounts nationally.