CBS ArcSafe partners with a wind farm operator to improve transformer safety.
Operating the ON/OFF switch located on the high-voltage side of a transformer exposes workers to the transformer’s low-voltage side. Typically, the low-voltage side contains a higher current and therefore a potential of high incident energy. In addition, opening the transformer doors to access the switch can expose workers to live conductors or unshielded bushings.
In 2019, one of North America’s largest wind farm operators approached CBS ArcSafe about this safety concern for pad-mounted transformers (PMTs). This renewable energy customer designed a solution to turn the ON/OFF switch without having to open the transformer’s exterior doors using the CBS ArcSafe RSA-216 remote switch actuator.
To accomplish this, they installed a permanent accessory door enclosure with a port hole adjacent to the transformer’s switch. An insulated hot stick could then be inserted through the exterior door port channel whenever the switch needed to be actuated. The CBS ArcSafe actuator interfaces with the hot stick from the outside of the transformer to turn it ON/OFF remotely from up to 300 feet away, which is well outside the arc-flash hazard boundary.
Fast forward two years and the customer has successfully installed their door enclosure design on most of their transformers and tested the system’s compatibility with CBS ArcSafe equipment. CBS ArcSafe has since licensed the intellectual property (IP) from the customer turned partner and is now taking the solution, the remote switch kit for pad-mounted transformers (RSK-PMT), to the broader transformer market as a complete solution that will enhance arc-flash safety for transformers everywhere.
“In recent years, we have seen increasing demand for remote operating solutions for transformers in both solar and wind applications,” says Justin Gaull, business development manager for CBS ArcSafe. “We are excited that this new solution gives us the ability to add safety and value in new places, well beyond the plant floor.”