Preferred Practices for Railcar 3 Phase Transformer Storage and Handling

Locomotive Transformers are meant to last, so learning how you should be storing and handling this equipment can help the performance longevity.  Once you purchase a new transformer, it’s helpful to seek out your own plan depending on the model’s designated maintenance requirements. An active maintenance plan will also allow for workload efficiencies by avoiding emergency or system breakdown.

Preventative Reasoning Behind Transformer Decline

Transformer systems are the epicenter of your electrical system.

Maintaining even just one transformer piece can help retain core component integrity in the transformer.

Some common reasons that result in gradual transformer deterioration are:

  • Moisture in the transformer system or insulating paper
  • Loose connections
  • Overloading
  • High operating temperature
  • Insulation loss
  • Line and lighting surges

Transformer Storage Techniques:

Through the following transformer storage tips, you can plan your system and ideally minimize any breakdowns or risks:

  • Make sure that your transformer is not stored in a facility next to floor drainage systems, expansion joints, sewer lines, or drain valves that would flow into the transformer’s area.
  • Place your transformer system above the designated flood level.
  • Inspect the area surrounding the transformer for parts or foreign materials.

Transformer Handling Techniques:

  • According to the DoD Standard Practice for Transformer use, when operators are using or maintaining transformer machinery, they should have clean hands with no hand cream or soap residue.
  • Investigate the transformer for any rust, leaks, dirt or restrictive damage of any kind.
  • Do not pull any of the transformer’s wires.
  • Check all insulators and bushings for cleanliness.
  • On an annual basis, review the ground connection of surge arrester.
  • Be sure the electrical loading is within the design range.

Helpful Testing Equipment for Locomotive Transformer Maintenance:

  • Power Analyzer
  • 100 KV HV Test Set
  • Ratio Meter (TR100)
  • Digital Micro Ohm Meter
  • Digital Megger
  • Digital Frequency Meter

How to Avoid Future Damage

To be sure that these best practices are incorporated into your facility, educate those handling the transformer machinery or use the techniques listed herein as a quick checklist.

An additional method of avoiding future damage is considering a transformer monitoring system after you purchase a transformer. These systems can diagnose potential problems, collect data while performing normal operations, and provide remote operation.

If you are looking for customized transformers for your Rail and Locomotive projects, Agile Magnetics designs and manufactures a wide range of custom transformers. Using our expertise in magnetics and design, we are capable of building transformers that match your specific requirements.

Among our specialty transformers, we offer high frequency, toroidal, buck-boost, 3 phase, single phase, isolation, instrument, pulse, high voltage, and universal winding transformers. To learn more about our product offerings, download our Capabilities Guide.


Topics: Transformer Basics

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