Worst brand of transformer.
By - hurleyfrank
Personal failure rates are highest with Delta Star, but they're early 1990s models. The 2012 and 2019 purchases have top notch construction and appear to be solid units.
WEG in Washington, MO has a super clean plant. (former CG Power facilities). Transformer fit-and-finish are great but their testing amd delivery logistics were terrible. They're not allowed to bid for 4 more years.
Georgia Power (former Efacec plant) - run, don't walk, away from them. Numerous leaks and other warranty issues, and field assembly crews were clueless. Will never bid again.
Howard plant is terrible. I've heard neighbor utilities had problems with the core clamping structure. Incidentally, they pointed out to us on our visit how awesome their core clamping procedures were. Odd that they'd stress that...
SPX/Waukesha have been cleaning up on our bids. Lowest initial price as well as evaluated price. Oldest we have are 2004 models and they're working fine.
Thank you very much for your input!
Just for curiosity, who is PTTI?
We've also had bad luck with Siemens (Mexico) - 2009 model - allll the accessories were plumbed in seal-tite conduit.
We have a pair of GE/Prolecs from 2010 and they're fine, except they are HUGE - hold 11,000 gallons of oil vs 7500-8400 for every other vendor in the same size and voltage class (161-25 kV 30 MVA base).
Pensylvania transformer technology inc.
Weird way to pass wire, but hey, at least no way a wire get damaged if somebody pass around with an axe! Haha.
Thats something that i dont understand. Some customer come and they are very clear about what they want and all their transformer are exactly the same whatever the brand. Other seem to not ask clearly... And end up with a unit 2 time the size of the others? Im not understanding the buying process of these things i guess? Haha.
The process is having a very clear spec and be clear that you want it built to spec or be disappointed with the product.
Better than the Alstom GSUs we got that used basically RWA.
Not even remotely waterproof.
None of the above...
Virginia Transformer, hands down.
Screwed us with bad units years ago, and worked to get back on our bidders list. Made it back on our bidders list, then first unit failed during on-site commissioning due to negligence.
Needless to say, they're off the list again. Have had struggles with most of the list, but nothing like Virginia.
I second this, Virginia Transformer is also off of our bidder list due to numerous issues.
In recent years if the transformer is under ~20MVA it's either a Delta Star or a WEG unit, and anything over is a SPX/Waukesha.
Yep, Virginia Transformer easily. Came out to site to install some aux relays the factory forgot and couldn’t pass a drug screen.
Another project got delayed a few months because they tipped a transformer over in the factory (~45ish MVA), didn’t tell the owner and luckily it failed the FAT otherwise the probably would have shipped it right off.
There was a time back in late 1990's / early 2000's when the oil tanker drivers used to say " Oh a Prolec, bet it's wet". My understanding is they were blacklisted from all utilities in my state for a while.
2000, 2 sister peaker plants with (8) 345/13.8/13.8 200MVA units built in parallel time frame. Ferranti Packard, Mexico plant. After the first unit failed in field due to inadequate clearance between H2 and magnetic shunt on tank (AND original "testers" left all 87T CT's shorted), it was only 90 days and 3 others had similar failures. The "factory" repair crew took several more attempts to cure the clearance issues.
We had a bad initial batch of CG (USA) units 5-6 years ago. VT was a problem 20 years ago.
2 years ago we had 3-500MVA's that Hyundai sent their man to supervise install. Poor guy and the oil processors / installers that were hired by the factory were caught in a jam when the factory was trying to overlook several medium level, fixable issues.
Last year 2-500's where the Chinese company took 9 months or something stupid to fix a bad H2 bushing and other minor issues. I forget the name of the Chinese company but I believe they were banned by the US DOE for sneaking in electronic listening devices or something like that.
In all honesty, a large power transformer is a difficult business to be in. 50% up front and the rest after energizing. Labor issues, cost issues, globalism issues, transportation, raw materials and assembly in the field are many difficult variables to control. Most, if they survive the early part of the bathtub curve, will give 40-50 years of life under tough conditions.
>In all honesty, a large power transformer is a difficult business to be in. 50% up front and the rest after energizing. Labor issues, cost issues, globalism issues, transportation, raw materials and assembly in the field are many difficult variables to control.
I concur. From tank welding, OLTC, Preventive auto, winding, clearance or the leads, oil processing, bushing, the enless factory acceptance tests...So many things to go wrong.
I see the factory side of things, but im interested to the reality of the field. Putting them on a truck is cool, but id like to see the fruit of my effort someday.
Thanks for your input.
Had a similar experience with Hyundai. Field rep was awesome and the build out crew was even better.
But they had a hell of a time getting some relatively small things replaced from the factory. Think it was a sudden pressure relay or seal-in. Rep ended up just buying he part straight from qualitrol it was taking so long for the factory to respond.
I'm going to toss my vote in for ABB south boston transformers we have hundreds of them on our system but at any random point doesn't even have to see a fault they start gassing hydrogen to the point of blowing up and have to be removed from service I have 6 under dga investigation right now and replaced 3 last year for that reason
Careful!!! I was told by a guru buddy of mine that any mention of those 69kV gassing units will result in a lawsuit. Not really kidding about that.
A previous company I worked for was called out to make a minor repair on one of these units. We weren't asked or paid to pull full vacuum. It was like a trap, they immediately did DGA and the thing was gassing like a SOB, with no clear relationship to the work performed. IIRC buried somewhere in the IB was explicit instructions on pulling full vac for "x" hours (like a new unit), but that book was unavailable during bid and repair work. IB suddenly reappeared when gassing immediately developed.
Well that's good to know it's amazing what companies do sometimes
Holy shit. Blowing up... Thats bad!
We have only had one actually launch the rest were caught just before
Are these older units or we are talking 2010-2020...?
Should add an option for “no vote see results” so we can see the result without having to answer
Please tell me for who you voted, ill deduct your bote. Thx.
No big deal. Just an idea for next time. I’m not worried about it that much. 👍
I wanna say around 2009-2011 iirc
So young and already toasted...
Virginia Transformer. On-site rep said flat out that our brand new 250MVA would last 20 years while a 250 from the late 80’s is still purring beside it.
Question..I keep seeing on electrical message boards about sub transformers "blowing up"...and yes I have seen the viral video's out there.
But in my 30 years, I have only seen the aftermath of 2 transformers that "blew up". both were smallish ( I think 10mva). An both had additional problems other then severe gassing and high acetylene counts.
I have however seen the aftermath of maybe 10 transformers with known internal arcing/PD issues, that tripped via all proper protection. In other words all protection in place at the time worked the way it was supposed to, clearly the fault quickly.
Transformers "blowing up" typically have WAY more issues with them then noted. Way too much protection both not maintained or upgraded, or set up improperly from the start.
To me, it could be a cheap transformer with not enough protection...
No oil analysis (DGA, hydran and other), no SPR, stuck PRD, air gap so no buchholz... But im curious what people who had this issue experienced.