Siemens is providing Con Edison with six mobile resilience transformers to help replace units within days rather than weeks in times of extreme weather like hurricanes or other major substation events. The mobile resilience transformers will allow Con Edison to respond to these events where multiple transformers may be affected and normal spares or system redundancy may not be able to address the issues.
The new transformers are highly optimized for weight and dimension through advanced voltage, power rating, impedance, and environmentally-friendly ester fluid technology. This solution will help Con Edison quickly restore power to the areas served by the unavailable transformers within one to three days, compared to the weeks it may take to transport and install normal available spare units. In cases where utilities do not have existing spare units, it may take six to twelve months for new units to be procured, shipped and installed.
“This first-of-its kind mobile transformer developed by Con Edison and Siemens is truly a game‑changing product that will help us restore customers more quickly if a high voltage transformer fails for any reason,” said Sanjay Bose, vice president of Central Engineering for Con Edison. “This project has been an excellent learning experience for engineers, designers and builders from both companies. The team put their extensive knowledge, experience and the willingness to depart from the norm to come up with this practical and sound design. Many features of this unique and innovative design will serve as a model for future transformers that we use in our service area.”
Siemens’ new mobile resilience transformers are designed to be as mobile as possible to minimize local transportation and installation requirements. In addition, the transformer design includes pre‑installed cooling systems and operation on multiple voltage levels. This versatility results in utilities needing fewer mobile resiliency banks that can be used in several different locations. Special plug-in bushings and connections reduce installation time to approximately one to two days, without transformer entry and oil handling, instead of weeks.
“Traditionally, replacing transformers after a hurricane or major substation event is a complicated, expensive and extremely time consuming process and requires significant manpower,” said Dr. Beatrix Natter, CEO of Siemens Transformers Business Unit. “With these mobile resilience transformers, Con Edison will add to their already comprehensive restoration plans, replacing transformers in a fraction of the usual time and cost, and providing more reliable power for their transmission system.”
The transformers are designed for usage for different voltage levels which allows a utility to avoid investing in a resiliency unit for each transformer rating. To minimize the size and weight of the transformers, high temperature insulation material, forced oil cooling equipment, and ester fluid are used. By insulating with environmentally-friendly synthetic ester that easily dissipates, the transformers for Con Edison can also be installed closer to rivers or other environmentally sensitive areas.