Why Repair/Refurbish/Modify Older Transformers?

Repair/Refurbish/Modify or Replace. All of us occasionally face this dilemma in our business.

The battle to reduce costs while maintaining production occupies much of any business manager's time and effort. We, at Uptegraff, would like to pass along a few cost-saving ideas that have been beneficial to many of our customers. Failing, aging, or failed processing equipment can often be put back into service rather than replaced.

On liquid immersed, single and three phase transformers, 500 kVA and larger, aside from the cost savings compared with that of purchasing a new replacement unit, additional peripheral benefits of repair/refurbishment/modification are also gained. Please consider the following:

  1. Substation redesign engineering costs related to new unit design can often be eliminated.
  2. Environmentally, reuse make sense. Still useful materials, such as core, tank, etc. can be recycled instead of being scrapped.
  3. The time required to repair/refurbish/modify a unit is often less than that to build a new unit.
  4. Rewound units carry the same warranty as that of a new unit.

Transformers are designed and manufactured for a typical life expectancy of approximately 20 to 40 years. Our experience has shown that the majority of transformer failures can be traced to the introduction of some foreign matter (usually water) into the unit. It is imperative that the unit seal be maintained. This requires periodic inspection/maintenance of gaskets, weld integrity, paint integrity etc. - This task can be cumbersome for the user that is not in the business of building transformers. Liquid filled transformers are generally heavy, and require heavy equipment for disassembly. Handling and temporary storage of the insulating fluid can also present a unique problem. Being a new transformer manufacturer, the Uptegraff factory is specifically equipped to handle units as large as 15mVA. Our familiarity with transformer component suppliers makes accessory acquisition a snap. Our intimate knowledge of national standards regarding construction and test of transformers allows us to update your unit to current standards. For a minimum cost, you can extend the life of your unit.

Please consider the following options:

Windings Rewind to existing design, or redesign using modern techniques/materials. Subject to oven dry out. Rewind to another voltage.
Bushings Replace existing with same. Regasket/clean up. Replace/relocate.
Tank Fix leaks, replace rusted parts. Shot blast/repaint. Move throats/bushing locations.
Accessories Replace broken with new. New glass/rewire. Relocate/add.
Gaskets Replace. Inspect (if reusable). Change material.
Test Retest dielectrics @ 75%, 100% if rewound. Retest dielectrics at 75%. Special tests available.
Fluid Remove & replace. Filter/degas. Replace/change type.

These are only a few of the options available to you as the owner of an older transformer. If you are interested in joining other company managers who have found repairing, refurbishing, and/or modifying to be a real time and money saver, the next time one of your units needs attention, give us a call and an opportunity to quote this alternative.

© Copyright 2002 R. E. Uptegraff Manufacturing Co.
Power Transformers, Distribution Transformers, Industrial Transformers, Padmount, 10000 5000 kVA, 10 20 MVA, Custom Designed Transformers, 46 69 125 kV