Reuse the Steel Tank in Your Substation Transformer
Existing Tank Advantages
A transformer’s tank delivers protection, enables cooling, and provides connection points for a transformer’s incoming and outgoing power. Whether your transformer was built in 2010 or in 1970, that hasn’t changed. But the design parameters and the amount of steel used to make the tank have–and not necessarily for the better. While today’s new steel tanks are generally well made and tested to meet minimum requirements, there’s a good chance a new one will have thinner steel than the one you currently own.
When your transformer was originally built, an engineer considered the base location so they could design the cement pad. Conduit was placed specifically for your transformer’s tank design. Connections for the overhead lines and low-voltage lines on the side of the transformer were also positioned specifically for that tank.
One of the many advantages of remanufacturing your existing transformer is that it will fit perfectly on the existing site and all the original connections will fit and work as first designed. If you choose to have a new tank made, the engineers will need to design it around the existing location and connections. This increases design time, and the cost of the job. Not to mention that most new transformer manufacturers are already facing extremely long lead times due to supply chain issues.
The cost of a new tank will vary depending on its size, cooling, and on the current price of steel but you can expect to pay $100,000 or more for a new one. Reusing your existing tank will cost less than purchasing a new one even considering the only one will require flushing and cleaning, complete assessment, welding and sanding work, priming and painting, pressure testing, and final setup.
To keep costs down, new tank manufacturers use thinner steel than those constructed in the 1960s, ’70s, or ’80s. Today’s steel tanks will be sufficient to withstand full vacuum pressure. But if you have a tank made of thicker steel, reusing it is your best choice for the longest life of your equipment.
Failures are rare when transformer tanks are designed and built well. Through our experience remanufacturing steel tanks, we’ve devised a thorough process that prevents tank problems and gives continued integrity to your equipment. We begin with a complete inspection before making any repairs or updates. For tanks exposed to corrosive elements, we assess for rust and make any necessary repairs. We can modify flanges or bushings, and we’ll add bracing if necessary.
Reusing a steel transformer tank will save you time and money. With our exhaustive process and final testing, that tank will faithfully serve you and your customers for many more years.