There’s something attractive about “new.” It feels innovative, long-lasting, reliable, and therefore cost-effective. All that can be true when you’re talking about a cell phone or refrigerator or pickup truck. But new also comes at a price, and it’s more than just the cost in dollars. When looking at your substation transformer or a mobile substation, remanufacturing “old” equipment can create calculable savings.
The Cost of New
If you purchase a new transformer, you could be overpaying in both time and money. Look at the steel tank, for example. With the high cost of steel in the current market, engineers design new transformer tanks made from steel that’s 1/4-in. to 5/16-in. thick, as opposed to a transformer built 40 years ago from steel that’s 3/8-in. to 1/2-in. thick.
Is thinner steel a deal breaker? Not necessarily, such new tanks are designed to withstand full vacuum. But will they serve you and your customers reliably for decades?
With “new,” you’ll also incur costs in time. Designing and manufacturing a transformer from the ground up—tank, core, insulation, radiators, bushings, gauges and relays, etc.—could approach a year. Can you afford the extra cost of that time? An existing transformer can be remanufactured in a matter of months, depending on the amount of internal and external rework needed.
Save Time and Money
When “new” costs too much in both time and money, you can choose to remanufacture and reuse an existing substation or mobile transformer. The biggest savings benefit in a remanufactured substation transformer will come from the steel core and associated steel frame. Furthermore, reusing your radiators or coolers will save you even more! With a transformer in the 10 to 30 MVA range, for example, you can save up to $100,000 by reusing and remanufacturing the core.
A transformer’s radiators are good candidates for reuse. While water intrusion can lead to corrosion damage in these radiators, in most well-maintained transformers, the original radiators can easily be repurposed for a remanufactured transformer. New radiators can run $5,000 to $10,000 each, and the average transformer uses 5 or 6. Reusing radiators is a smart way to save time and money.
While remanufacturing a transformer’s tank presents some money savings, the larger benefits are in time, and the reuse of a more durable tank built with thicker steel. Inspection, repair, sandblasting and repainting of a transformer’s steel tank requires much less time than designing and building a new one. Plus, you’ll know that all the associated components will fit perfectly on your existing and remanufactured tank, saving you time towards being back in service.
When several of the external components on an existing transformer can be reused, including the load tap changer, bushing, radiators and more, buying all new is an unnecessary expense. Plus, when transformers are remanufactured by qualified pros with the right experience, equipment and facilities, you can be assured that your substation transformer meets all specification requirements.
Your older substation transformer was built to provide long-lasting service to the electric grid. Remanufacturing and reusing components will save you time and money, as well as the peace of mind you need for continued long service to your customers.
Additionally, there are costs associated with coordinating the utility and construction companies when installing a new substation transformer–which are avoided when going the remanufactured route.
For 50 years, Jordan Transformer has helped customers save time and money, and maintain reliability, by remanufacturing existing transformers and mobile substations. If you want to find out if your transformer can be remanufactured please contact us today.