Cast Resin Mini Substation Solutions for Underground Mining
by Red Metal Mining in collaboration with African Mining Brief magazine
Encountering problems with both dry-type and oil-cooled transformers in the underground mining environment is always a certainty, often with grave consequences. If not a fire explosion, a component failure.
Relieving the burden
What should be assuring is that Red Metal Mining (RMM) has a solution that can eliminate the headache that mining companies experience with both oil-cooled and other dry-type transformers.
The company has gone to great lengths to ensure that its cast resin mini substation is ideal for application in underground mines. The company’s CEO confirms that the substation has been engineered for environments which are typically explosive and expose equipment to dirt. In addition, the substation has significantly low life cycle costs.
No oil-cooled concerns
SGB cast resin transformers only need air to cool and contain zero oil. This eliminates most of the fire risk usually associated with Cast Resin Mini Substations for underground mines Cast Resin Mini Substations for underground mines oil-cooled transformers. The explosion of a cast resin dry-type transformer under normal operation is highly unlikely and there is no risk of oil leaks that may cause pollution.
From a maintenance perspective, the smooth coil surface of the cast resin transformer eliminates heavy dirt build-up, even in the most extreme circumstances. The only recommended maintenance is a routine visual inspection by technical personnel, and a wipe down of the transformer as required.
No dry-type winding worries
The SGB cast resin transformer does not only stand out from oil -cooled transformers, but it is also set apart from other dry-type transformers available today. Firstly, the transformer is uniquely manufactured with a glass fiber reinforced cast resin system, which prevents the winding from cracking – a common issue with dry-type transformers.
Secondly, the SGB’s transformer winding is insulated with a mixture of epoxy resin and quartz powder, which allow the winding to be flame-retardant and prevents the penetration of moisture. This results in low maintenance and an extended transformer life.
Lastly, the multi-layer winding of the SGB transformer coil ensures the safe handling of high surge voltages, and balances surge voltage stress across the winding. It also permits the easy introduction of extra cooling ducts in the coil. By gaining a larger cooling surface area, a uniform temperature
distribution occurs. Transformer operation is possible in ambient temperatures between -50°C and 50°C.
What’s more, for high vibration applications, a 3G rated solution is available upon special request by the client and can be further up-rated for extreme conditions. SGB cast resin transformers have a service life of 20+ years, and a low failure rate. This translates into a highly reliable component of any electrical infrastructure.
The mini substation’s compact size is convenient for underground mines, specifically designed to fit in a man winder cage, the CEO affirms. “The compact size enables underground mining operations to send the substation underground in the shaft cage, instead of removing the cage first before hoisting the substation down the shaft.”
There are practically no limits with the mini substations and transformers. Over and above the mining sector, both mini substations and cast resin transformers are used in various industries, including power generation and distribution, renewable energy sector, data centers, hospitals, retail buildings, marine applications, and industrial sectors, among others.
Complete substation solution
As far as possible, RMM does its utmost to ensure that its clientele fully benefits from its cast resin transformer solutions through a complete substation solution. Their complete substation solution includes the design, drawings, IP00 transformer, IP54 steel housing and electrical control system, and
FAT testing of the unit before shipping.
Customized solutions, particularly in the following areas, is also possible:
• Power rating
• Steel width (mm) and steel choice (mild or stainless)
• IP rating
• Electrical equipment (analog or digital)
• Color of housing
RMM’s services usually end after the equipment has been shipped, or after the company’s engineers have commissioned the equipment on site. Nevertheless, the company still renders its services to assist with any major issues directly related to its equipment, clarifies the CEO.