Safety Tips: Caring for Transformers

any electrical hazards can be prevented by following some easy-to-follow caring tips for transformers. Below are some general electricity safety precautions every transformer manufacturer and end-user should know and follow. Always remember to ask a professional if you’re uncertain about the safety of a high voltage transformer.

This blog post is Part 2 of the series "Safety Tips." Read Part 1 of the series, which discusses many safety tips when working with a transformer.

Handling, transportation and lifting

  • Any transformer with exposed windings is subject to impact and touch. Direct hits to the windings and accessories can cause insulation failure or a short circuit.
  • Use the eye lugs or pallet and pallet truck/forklift lifting. The weight of the transformer is indicated on the rating plate.
  • Keep the shrink wrap plastic packaging on as long as possible during installation.
  • Before connecting the transformer to the electrical system, eventually packing has to be removed.

Location and airflow

  • Mounted terminal blocks are approved for both copper and aluminum wires.
  • Free space around the transformer must be sufficient to provide natural air cooling to keep the ambient temperature stated on the rating plate.
  • An IP20 certified transformer is designed for unobstructed airflow from all sides, from bottom to top.
  • Consider airflow and heat when adding/connecting cables.
  • Cool air in from the bottom – Warm air out on top!

Protection: Fuzes

  • Concerning fuse arrangement and size, please follow transformer manufacturers’ recommendations.
  • Fuses should be of slow blow characteristics.
  • Users must protect the transformer against overload – maximum current is specified on the transformer’s rating plate.

Storage & preservation

  • A transformer is generally not packed for outdoor storage. Ideally, Applications must use it in dry indoor ventilated conditions in the temperature range of 0-40°C with a maximum relative humidity of not more than 80%.
  • Do not store anything heavy on the transformer.
  • Keep the shrink wrap plastic packaging on during storage.

Installation, operation & maintenance

  • It is recommended to keep the transformer free from humidity, dust, and other materials which may be conductive.
  • Keep the transformer out of the rain and similar conditions unless the transformer is IP rated.
  • Do not use welding equipment, grinders, or similar equipment close to the transformer unless they are shielded by protective wrapping.
  • Do not sit, stand or walk on the transformer itself.
  • Neither store any heavy equipment on top of the transformer nor cover it with any material.

A correctly installed transformer will be a lifetime’s worth of investment!

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