Transformer Vault

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Old 02-09-12, 06:38 PM
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Transformer Vault

I was going to post this in the electrical section but I thought it would interesting for all to see so I put it here.

Transformer Vault pictures by TolynIronhand - Photobucket

This vault is in a building that we do quite a but of work in. The building was original built in the 30's And has been added on quite a few times. This building was full during the height of WWII producing bomb sights and other items.

About the pictures:
This is the transformer vault. According to the gauges on the switch gear there is 4,000 volts coming in. Then it changes to 480v on the secondary side of the transformers and moves on from there. The transformers are at least 6' tall. Yes, the open copper busses are hot! and is 480 volts between them! They are aprox 10-12' off the ground. The wires on the back wall are from the power companies lines.

This room is only accessible to the building management/maintenance.
 
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Old 02-09-12, 06:47 PM
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Wow. Those transformers looks old. Are they still in use? I'm surprised none of those copper bars have corrosion on them. What are the pulleys for?
 
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Old 02-10-12, 02:42 AM
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Bet there's a million dollars worth of copper in the ceiling and inside the transformers. Very good and interesting pix, Scott. You don't get to see stuff like that every day.
 
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Old 02-10-12, 04:46 AM
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I got a tingle just looking at the pics!
 
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Old 02-10-12, 07:19 AM
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I have worked on 480 but those bare bus bars freak me out. Not sure I wouldn't be a paranoid wreck after a few minutes in there.
 
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Old 02-10-12, 08:46 AM
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If 480 freaks you out what would you do in a facility that has open bus bars and switches operating at 2400, 4160, 13,800 and 26,000?

I need to take some pictures of the high voltage sections in the historical museum where I volunteer.
 
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Old 02-10-12, 09:17 AM
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Hey Furd, you never met the three fingered guy at the motor shop I worked at or you might understand ... of course that was a 1200v motor he tried to adjust the alligator clips on without shutting off the test board first not a 480.
 

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Old 02-10-12, 09:28 AM
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I was installing a motor temperature monitor/shutdown device (800 horsepower motor) in the motor starter cabinet. I had to have the 4,160 compartment open to do so and even though the circuit breaker was off and locked out I still was a bit apprehensive. I'm scared to death of electricity and that is why I have been able to work around it at voltages up to 26,000 without getting even a little bit dead.

I once had to install an expanded metal guard within a few feet of a 26,000 volt transmission line, on the edge of a roof with a 60+ foot drop to the ground. After I finished and the foreman congratulated me on a job well done I asked him if he had "cleared" (had the power dispatcher turn off) the line and he said no. He went on to state that is why he gave the job to me, knowing that I would treat even a "dead" line as if it was energized. I was young and stupid then but I've never again taken someone else's word that a job was safe.
 
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Old 02-10-12, 12:30 PM
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Shocking Experience

Few years ago a production truck was dumping on a waste dump and got a tad too close to a high voltage line.

Not 100% sure but I think it was a line going from the Laskin Power plant in Hoyt Lakes up to Tower or somewhere north....quite a few volts anyway.

The box didn't touch the line but was apparently too close. Brother says a lifted box is about 40' in the air.

Anywho, seems the dirt flowing out of the box grounded it, the power jumped to the truck and blew out all 6 tires. These tires are pretty big....





I didn't hear it but the people in town said it sounded like a bomb had gone off.

Luckily, after the line was shut down the driver was removed, just fine except for some wobbly knees.
 
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Old 02-10-12, 12:53 PM
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Probably needed a clean set of drawers too

I was near a pickup that crashed and burned and those 15" tires sounded like gun shots when they exploded, I can only imagine how loud tires that big would be.
 
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Old 02-10-12, 01:45 PM
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Yes, Voltage over 240 volts you REALLY need to know what you are doing and can give you a bad day in a heartbeat.

The pulleys are to operate some doors at ground level. The transformers are set over pits which are used to change the oil in them . From what I heard this has only been done once to remove the PCB's. I believe these transformers are original to the building and are still used to this day. However, the Bulldog box with the 3 busses going into the top is marked 1943. I do not know what the KVA rating of them.
 
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Old 02-10-12, 02:10 PM
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I remember seeing something like that and I THINK it may have been at the Nuclear Power Training Unit I was at. We had 3 reactors that were used by the Navy at the time, set up just like they would have been in an actual ship. One was actually in a large swimming pool type thing to test the coolant flow....


IIRC this one vented the steam to a big condenser that routed it back to the boiler.

I think the output of one of the others was connected to basically a giant water brake that acted kind of like a dynamometer and the last was connected to a huge heat sink? That was the one I trained on and I'm pretty sure there were similar buss bars visible through the window into the room. Btw....the room was triple locked with high security armored locks similar to what they used on weapons armories. Took 3 of the senior people to unlock the room and that was only when the plant was shut down.

Could have a few details wrong...it has been 35 yrs.....
 
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