A transformer is one of the most crucial components of a power distribution system. It enables safe and consistent supply of electricity to homes and offices across the length and breadth of the country. It is with the help of transformers that alternating currents are converted into voltages that can be easily used in residential and commercial premises.
With an ever-increasing demand for power, utility and power companies have to be on their toes to ensure a reliable and uninterrupted supply of electricity by minimizing downtimes and system failures. For a power transmission company, transformers are costly assets that must be well maintained to avoid expensive repairs and replacements. Proper upkeep of these heavy-duty equipment and their components ensures a healthy return on investment as it helps prevent breakdowns and outages.
What is the role of transformer coating in equipment maintenance?
While the main components of a large transformer are built to last for decades, it’s the outer coating of the system that takes a hit owing to contamination from environmental factors. The radiator tubes on a transformer are particularly prone to wear and tear, as this is the area that collects moisture and gets rusty over time.
Bill Johnson from Utility Service (https://www.utilityservice.net/) explains that regular, thorough transformer maintenance will help to prevent any inconvenient power outages. A thorough paint job that perfectly covers the surface area of the radiator tubes will ensure that it is adequately protected against corrosive damage for a long time to come.
What are the options available in transformer painting services?
While periodic utility testing and maintenance will ensure that your transformer is working properly from the inside, painting the device is necessary to prevent damage from excessive heat and moisture. Transformer painting provides protection from both solar heat and the heat generated by the equipment.
When you’re looking to have your transformer painted, you can choose between spray painting and flow coating. A key difference between the two is that flow coating offers complete coverage and reaches the toughest of nooks and crannies. While spray painting comes at a cheaper price, companies looking for long-lasting results and greater corrosion protection usually opt for the flow coating method. Flow coating does not require dismantling of parts and can be done with little to no disruption of service.
A key advantage of flow coating is that it turns out to be more cost-effective over the long term as it offers cent-percent protection to the exposed exteriors of a transformer by covering areas that are difficult to reach with spray painting.
When is the right time to call for a transformer painting service?
As is true for any capital asset, timely servicing and maintenance can increase the life of the equipment, reduce operational costs and prevent losses. In the case of transformers, regular upkeep helps power companies maintain a reliable supply and avoid unexpected downtimes. To put your equipment maintenance budget to good use, a preventive approach is the best way to go—that is have your transformer painted periodically, before it starts to show signs of corrosion or build-up of contaminates.
The more you wait the greater amount of time and money will be spent on the job, mainly because the surface area needs to be thoroughly cleaned and prepped for painting. In fact, surface preparation takes up a significant part of the total cost of transformer painting. Therefore, well-timed cleaning and painting is essential for controlling maintenance costs. If you’re not sure that your transformer is ready for a fresh coat of paint, have it inspected by a qualified specialist from a trusted utility maintenance service.
When is the right time to repaint a previously painted transformer?
As stated previously, you may wait until there is significant rusting or contamination but that could lead to costly repairs—or even replacement of the transformer if the damage is too extensive to repair. In the case of a transformer that was painted or coated a long while ago, a good time to commission a fresh painting service is before the old coating starts to flake or peel.
The transformer painting crew will first remove the old paint with a special chemical compound using the flow coating technique. Then the exposed surfaces are treated with a special solution to prepare them for the new weather-resistant coating. If your facility is located in a coastal area where the transformer is exposed to salts in the air, the technicians will remove the contaminants with a special salt-removal product to avoid premature damage to the new coating.