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Trafo’s flexibility on show at Electra Mining

Because of the individual nature of mines, a one-size-fits-all solution is often unfeasible. With that in mind, leading dry-type transformer specialist Trafo Power Solutions will use Electra Mining Africa 2022 to showcase its ability to customise its solutions for mine-specific conditions.

“Leveraging many years of experience in the mining industry, pretty much across all commodities, we have comprehended that each mine is different and has its own set of challenges,” explains David Claassen, managing director of Trafo Power Solutions. “A one-size-fits-all approach is therefore out of the question, which is why most of our products are custom designed and manufactured to specific site conditions.”

Because they use air as a medium of cooling, dry-type transformers are typically installed in indoor environments, however, Trafo Power Solutions has a wealth of experience in supplying dry type transformers for outdoor applications The design of the enclosure is therefore critical to withstand the common harsh conditions associated with high dust and moisture levels. Despite the restrictive nature of enclosures, Trafo Power Solutions’ custom design capability guarantees enough ventilation, while allowing for necessary levels of ingress protection to keep dust and moisture at bay.

“With our in-house design capability, we are particularly able to custom engineer solutions for challenging underground applications. We are able to tailor the dimensions, weight and other factors to match the space constraints presented by using vertical shafts or decline shafts to take the transformer underground,” explains Claassen.

Safety boundaries

Amid a renewed focus on environmental, social and governance (ESG) in the mining industry, Claassen says Electra Mining Africa presents an opportunity for the company to showcase how its solutions – dry-type transformers, modular-type and miniature substations, among others – meet the growing requirement for environmentally friendly solutions.

“There is a common understanding that sustainability represents one of the mining industry’s most significant opportunities for long-term value creation, building trust and sustainable growth,” says Claassen. “By using air as the insulating and cooling medium instead of oil, dry-type transformers allow mines to reduce their reliance on fossil fuels.”

Apart from sustainability, mines are continually pushing safety boundaries. In fact, one of the key drivers of dry-type transformer technology in the mining sector is the safety imperative, says Claassen.

“Mining companies have strongly shown their commitment to continually evaluate their operating practices to work towards a workplace with Zero Harm,” says Claassen. “The absence of oil in dry- type transformers translates into reduced safety and environmental risk. It also means that there are no chances of leakages and possible fires.”

Dry-type transformers are categorised as F1 in terms of fire resistance ratings, indicating a low level of risk. Cooling options include natural ventilation and forced ventilation, with availability of air-to- air heat exchangers and auto heat exchangers. This gives dry-type units the significant advantage of having an inherently low risk of safety and environmental impact.

Electra Mining Africa 2022 will take place from 5 to 9 September at the Johannesburg Expo Centre. Claassen is excited that the trade show has finally come back to life after the previous event was cancelled due to Covid-19.

“Electra Mining Africa feeds into our overall company strategy. We see the mining industry as a significant growth area for us. We are therefore looking forward to participating in-person and reconnecting with the various stakeholders, from junior and senior mining personnel to original equipment manufacturers,” concludes Claassen.

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