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Oil Filled Transformers

Oil filled transformers are transformers filled with a highly refined mineral oil that is used to insulate
internal live parts of the transformer. The oil prevents corona and manages temperature control inside
the transformer for the prevention of equipment and machinery overheating during the operation of
large job applications. Because of the oil inside the transformer being of non-combustible properties,
these transformers are very safe and can operate machinery for long periods of time.

The features of an oil filled transformer design should depend greatly on the job application type and
its voltage power demands. Since oil filled transformers are usually used for larger applications.

More Information on the Design of an Oil Filled Transformer

In the structure of an oil filled transformer, the inside cavity has

radiators, which circulate the liquid to promote cooling and insulation
of the coils for a more efficient operation. When larger, commercial
equipment is needed, an oil filled transformer will greatly reduce
energy costs and can run at 30 percent overload. Many large facilities
utilize this type of transformer and have found that production
increases while operational costs decrease.

Other types of transformers, such as dry-type transformers have high sound levels, but oil
filled transformers are much quieter due to the immersion of its mechanisms in liquid. This
results in less vibration as well. Oil filled transformers require low maintenance and are
quite environmentally friendly. When designed to meet standard electrical regulations, they
are very safe and will provide you with many years of dependable production.

Oil Filled Transformer Applications

In larger job applications such as utilizing pumping and welding

equipment, high temperatures can be a problem from excessive power
demands and long running operations. Large institutions, buildings and
industrial businesses depend greatly on oil filled transformers for a
balanced voltage power load enabling operators to have the voltage
power necessary to meet electrical responsibilities. Power plants can't
afford power shut downs, and depend greatly on these transformers for
continuous power sources. Thus, oil filled transformers were designed
to give companies and industrial facilities efficient and dependable electrical voltage. In
today's economy, operation has to be done on a more profitable scale, and dependable
power sources add greatly to lowing overall expense.

Oil Filled Transformer Production Advantages

One of the advantages of an oil filled transformer is that it can operate up to 30 percent more in an
overload condition than most other types of transformers. This is due to its internal high insulation
and temperature control properties. For large commercial loads, the advantage of using an oil filled
transformer can not only save monetarily, but provides a more effective source of electrical voltage
for the operation of valuable equipment. Over long periods of time, operation expense can be lowered
due to the effectiveness of an oil filled transformer. Also, there is less chance of production
breakdown, which eliminates high repair costs.

Heat Reduction Control is a Great Advantage of an Oil Filled Transformer

The oil inside the transformer acts as an insulator and a coolant providing a great
advantage when using an oil filled transformer. In the operation of large
applications, there is always a factor of over heating machinery and equipment
while in operation. The advantage of an oil filled transformer is that oil
circulates between the transformer and heat exchangers, which results in the
removal of high temperatures and power overloads. This results in better
performance of operation and eliminates breakdown of equipment. For commercial use, oil filled
transformers save greatly in energy consumption, which certainly lowers power expense. When
electrical power input is balanced and efficient, the longevity of machinery increases also adding to
the positive management of production costs.

Even though there is a great advantage in using oil filled transformers for the operation of large
equipment, they are usually installed outdoors in a regulated location that meets all electrical safety
standards and municipality codes. They are rarely installed indoors, and there are very strict
regulations that also must be met.

Cast Resin Transformers

Cast Resin Transformers offer a cost effective and convenient alternative to the more traditional Oil
Immersed high voltage distribution transformers

The transformer itself consists of two types of winding. The high voltage winding (3KV up to 36KV)
is vacuum cast into an insulating resin that completely seals it from the atmosphere. The low voltage
winding (up to 690V) is wound with a pre-impregnated insulating paper that is heat treated to bond the
coil together. These two windings are then placed concentrically on the legs of the transformers’
magnetic core.


Main construction assembly

The core assembly is supplied to the transformer

manufacturer as a completed core by the steel supplier. The
Transformer manufacturer removes the top cross limb of
the core and assembles the bottom bracket set to the core.

The LV coils are then positioned over each leg and

supported on plastic clamping blocks. Following this the
HV coils are mounted concentrically around the LV coils.

The top limb of the core is replaced then the top bracket set
with the plastic clamping blocks are assembled to secure
the core and coils
HV Coil LV Coil Transformer Core

Cast Resin / Oil Immersed comparison


No oil required
Low maintenance running costs
No requirement for oil spillage containment infrastructure


In-door applications only

larger physical size
initially larger purchase cost
High voltage switchgear was invented at the end of the 19th
century for operating motors and others electric machines.[1] The
technology has been improved over time and can be used with
voltages up to 1,100 kV.[2]


Typically switchgear in substations is located on both the high

voltage and the low voltage side of large power transformers. The
switchgear located on the low voltage side of the transformers in
distribution type substations, now are typically located in what is
called a Power Distribution Center (PDC). Inside this building are
typically smaller, medium-voltage (~15kV) circuit breakers
feeding the distribution system. Also contained inside these Power
Control Centers are various relays, meters, and other
communication equipment allowing for intelligent control of the

For industrial applications, a transformer and switchgear (Load

Breaking Switch Fuse Unit) line-up may be combined in one
housing, called a unitized substation or USS.


Switchgear for low voltages may be entirely enclosed within a

building. For transmission levels of voltage (high voltages over 66
kV), often switchgear will be mounted outdoors and insulated by
air, though this requires a large amount of space. Gas insulated
switchgear used for transmission-level voltages saves space compared with air-insulated equipment,
although it has a higher equipment cost. Oil insulated switchgear presents an oil spill hazard.

At small substations, switches may be manually operated, but at

important switching stations on the transmission network all
devices have motor operators to allow for remote control.


A piece of switchgear may be a simple open-air isolator switch

or it may be insulated by some other substance. An effective
although more costly form of switchgear is gas insulated
switchgear (GIS), where the conductors and contacts are
insulated by pressurized sulfur hexafluoride gas (SF6). Other
common types are oil or vacuum insulated switchgear.

The combination of equipment within the switchgear enclosure

allows them to interrupt fault currents of thousands of amps. A circuit breaker (within a switchgear
enclosure) is the primary component that interrupts fault currents. The quenching of the arc when the
ciruit breaker pulls apart the contacts open (disconnects the circuit) requires careful design. Circuit
breakers fall into these four types:

• Oil circuit breakers rely upon vaporization of some of the oil to blast a jet of oil through
the arc.
• Gas (SF6) circuit breakers sometimes stretch the arc using a magnetic field, and then
rely upon the dielectric strength of the SF6 to quench the stretched arc.
• Vacuum circuit breakers have minimal arcing (as there is nothing to ionize other than
the contact material), so the arc quenches when it is stretched a very small amount (<2–3 mm).
Vacuum circuit breakers are frequently used in modern medium-voltage switchgear to 35,000
• Air circuit breakers may use compressed air (puff) to blow out the arc, or alternatively,
the contacts are rapidly swung into a small sealed chamber, the escaping of the displaced air
thus blowing out the arc.

Circuit breakers are usually able to terminate all current flow very quickly: typically between 30 ms
and 150 ms depending upon the age and construction of the device.

Several different classifications of switchgear can be made[3]:

• By the current rating.

• By interrupting rating (maximum short circuit current that the device can safely
o Circuit breakers can open and close on fault currents
o Load-break/Load-make switches can switch normal system load currents
o Isolators may only be operated while the circuit is dead, or the load current is
very small.
• By voltage class:
o Low voltage (less than 1,000 volts AC)
o Medium voltage (1,000–35,000 volts AC)
o High voltage (more than 35,000 volts AC)
• By insulating medium:
o Air
o Gas (SF6 or mixtures)
o Oil
o Vacuum
• By construction type:
o Indoor (further classified by IP (Ingress Protection) class or NEMA enclosure
o Outdoor
o Industrial
o Utility
o Marine
o Draw-out elements (removable without many tools)
o Fixed elements (bolted fasteners)
o Live-front
o Dead-front
o Open
o Metal-enclosed
o Metal-clad
o Metal enclose & Metal clad
o Arc-resistant
o By IEC degree of internal separation [4]
 No Separation (Form 1)
 Busbars separated from functional units (Form 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4a, 4b)
 Terminals for external conductors separated from busbars (Form 2b, 3b,
4a, 4b)
 Terminals for external conductors separated from functional units but
not from each other (Form 3a, 3b)
 Functional units separated from each other (Form 3a, 3b, 4a, 4b)
 Terminals for external conductors separated from each other (Form 4a,
 Terminals for external conductors separate from their associated
functional unit (Form 4b)
• By interrupting device:
o Fuses
o Air Blast Circuit Breaker
o Minimum Oil Circuit Breaker
o Oil Circuit Breaker
o Vacuum Circuit Breaker
o Gas (SF6) Circuit breaker
• By operating method:
o Manually-operated
o Motor-operated
o Solenoid/stored energy operated
• By type of current:
o Alternating current
o Direct current
• By application:
o Transmission system
o Distribution
• By purpose
o Isolating switches (disconnectors)
o Load-break switches.[5][6]
o Grounding (earthing) switches

A single line-up may incorporate several different types of devices, for example, air-insulated bus,
vacuum circuit breakers, and manually-operated switches may all exist in the same row of cubicles.

Ratings, design, specifications and details of switchgear are set by a multitude of standards. In North
America mostly IEEE and ANSI standards are used, much of the rest of the world uses IEC standards,
sometimes with local national derivatives or variations.


One of the basic functions of switchgear is protection, which is interruption of short-circuit and
overload fault currents while maintaining service to unaffected circuits. Switchgear also provides
isolation of circuits from power supplies. Switchgear is also used to enhance system availability by
allowing more than one source to feed a load.


To help ensure safe operation sequences of switchgear, trapped key interlocking provides predefined
scenarios of operation. For example, if only one of two sources of supply are permitted to be
connected at a given time, the interlock scheme may require that the first switch must be opened to
release a key that will allow closing the second switch. Complex schemes are possible.

Indoor switchgear can also be type tested for internal arc containment. This test is important for user
safety as modern switchgear is capable of switching large currents. ([1])

Switchgear is often inspected using thermal imaging to assess the state of the system and predict
failures before they occur.

245 kV circuit breaker in air insulated substation 420 kV gas insulated switchgear

VTI UDS Series - Unitized Distribution

Standalone Power Distribution Unit

UDS Front View

UDS Front Elevation, doors open

• Features
• Options
• Photos
• Documents
• Specifications
• Ordering
• UDS Design Guide

The VTI Unitized Distribution Substation (UDS) is a versatile, proven and unique solution to
electrical power distribution problems in industrial plants and buildings with requirements that cannot
be met by the local power grid. The UDS is designed to provide electrical power distribution for
industrial plants, commercial buildings, instrument loads, outdoor lighting or any other general
purpose power distribution application. It is also used in typical Power Distribution Unit (PDU)
applications such as communication facilities and data centers.

One unit provides all the components necessary for distribution of electrical power in an
efficiently designed standalone enclosure, including a power distribution transformer, a current
limiting disconnect device in the transformer secondary, and a panelboard for individual branch circuit

VTI's UDS's are engineered, fabricated, assembled, factory wired, quality controlled and tested on-site
at VTI and shipped to the customer's site for easy installation. They are all UL or CUL labeled.

Limitless variations in power inputs and outputs are possible by selecting among the many available
options for the UDS, which include primary disconnect devices, lighting contactors, weatherproof
enclosures and K-rated transformers, among many others.

An integral part of the design criteria is to provide the appropriate ventilation for the transformer
heat, in order for the transformer to be mounted internally in the UDS. This is accomplished by the
rear chimney design which allows the transformer heat to bypass the distribution equipment and
safely dissipate through the top of the cabinet.

All compartment doors are mechanically interlocked with the secondary disconnect switch handle so
that the internal access is restricted until power is disconnected or "screwdriver override" is activated.
The panelboard wiring compartment is especially spacious to allow easy top access for wire pulls and
convenient connection of field wiring to the branch circuit breakers. The net result is an easy to
order, easy to install, all in one, UL Labeled power distribution system meeting OSHA and NEC
electrical standards.

Dual-voltage UDS
Please note, our Dual-Voltage UDS model (dvUDS) is also available. The dvUDS model is similar to
the standard UDS but provides power at both 480/277 Volts and 208/120 Volts or 240/120 Volts in
the same enclosure. Find out more...

UDS Advantages

Primary Disconnect Switch and Main Breaker compartment

45KVA Transformer in UDS

The UDS offers the following advantages in electrical power distribution applications:

• Cabinet includes everything from one vendor

• Easy to install; connects to a 480V source
• Easy to wire; large spacious wire ways for load connections
• Completely factory wired and tested
• Interlocked compartment doors for safety
• Meets NEC requirements
• Field labor installation savings due to reduced installation time
• Additional savings acheived in reduced design, purchasing, and material handling
• Electrical and assembly drawings can be provided by electronic file

Please see our UDS Cost Comparison for a detailed cost/benefit analysis of a UDS installation.

NEMA 4X SST Enclosure Units

UDS units installed

The UDS is designed with the following standard safety and convenience features:

• Free standing, totally enclosed, unitized structure

• Welded, heavy gauge steel construction
• Internally mounted transformer
• Separate compartmentalized secondary main breaker or fused disconnect switch with
external lockable operator handle
• Rear chimney design allows the transformer heat to ventilate through the top of the
cabinet, bypassing the distribution components
• 42 circuit, 3 or 4 wire, 225 Amp Panelboard for dead-front mounted plug-on or bolt-on
circuit breakers
• 480 Volt primary wires isolated through factory installed internal conduit
• Separate power compartments isolated from one another (transformer, current limiting
disconnects and circuit breaker panelboard)
• Extra large field wiring compartment
• Mechanically interlocked compartment doors with "bypass" mechanism to prevent
entry by unauthorized personnel
• Key locked door for access to branch circuit breakers
• Recessed panelboard to allow individual circuit breaker lockout while remaining
branch circuits are operating with panelboard door closed
• Cirrus grey enamel finish
• Lifting eyes for easy handling
• Factory wired, quality controlled and tested
• Meets all OSHA and NEC safety and electrical standards and is UL Listed and CUL
(Canadian UL) Approved as a complete system.

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Units can be configured to meet specific customer requirements from the following options:

Transformer sizes:
1 Phase: 15, 25, 37.5 KVA
3 Phase: 15,30,45,75 KVA
Transformer Voltages:
1 Phase - 480 or 600V to 240/120
3 Phase - 480 or 600V Delta to 208V/120V Wye
3 Phase - 480 or 600V Delta to 480V/277V Wye
3 phase - 415/50Hz Delta to 415/240V Wye
Primary Disconnect:
Fused Disconnect Switch or
Main Breaker; Lockable Operator Handle
Secondary Disconnect:
Fused Disconnect Switch or
Main Breaker; Lockable Operator Handle
Branch Circuit Breakers up to 42 positions,
selectable 1, 2, or 3 poles from 10 to 100A.
Enclosure: [NEMA Enclosure definitions]
NEMA 1 (General Purpose, Indoors) - 88.5"H x 27"W x 20"D
NEMA 12 (Dust tight) - 88.5"H x 27"W x 20"D
NEMA 3R (Weather tight) - 84"H x 27"W x 26"D
NEMA 4 (Water tight) * - 84"H x 27"W x 26"D
* The transformer compartment is vented for cooling
Single Phase Transformer Primary Protection Secondary Protection Contactor Rating
Rating Device Size Device Size (*)
15KVA 40A - 480V 80A - 240/120V 70A
35A - 600V
37.5KVA 100A - 480V 200A - 240/120V 175A
80A - 600V
* Applicable only with contactor option. Rating is for Contactor when switching total secondary
current to panelboard.
Three Phase Primary Protection Secondary Protection Contactor Rating
Transformer Rating Device Size Device Size (*)
15KVA 25A - 480V 50A (208Y/120V) 50A
20A - 600V 25A (480Y/277V) 20A
30KVA 45A - 480V 100A (208Y/120V) 110A
40A - 600V 45A (480Y/277V) 40A
45KVA 70A - 480V 150A (208Y/120V) 175A
60A - 600V 75A (480Y/277V) 60A
75KVA 125A - 480V 250A (208Y/120V) 225A
100A - 600V 125A (480Y/277V) 100A
(Main Breaker only)
* Applicable only with contactor option.
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Other Options

Circuit-Breaker Lockout Kit installed (CBL option)

Transient Suppression Network (TB option)

2 12-pole Lighting Contactors (HOA option)

Many additional options are available to meet electrical engineering specifications and customer

• A current limiting disconnect device (circuit breaker or fused disconnect switch) on the
transformer primary side.
• An electrostatically shielded transformer for instrument loads.
• 80°C rise transformer
• Transient Suppression Network
• A NEMA 12, Modified 3R or 4X enclosure
• A Circuit Breaker Lockout Kit for padlocking Branch Circuit breakers in the "off"
• A lighting contactor with HOA switch for photocell or timer-controlled night lights.
• Isolated Copper or Aluminum Ground Bar
• All-copper lugs, neurtal and ground bus
• GFI or EPD style circuit breakers
• Flush mounting trim
• Bottom entry for customer load connections
• Dual 42 position panelboards, providing potential for up to 84 circuits per unit.
• IEC Panelboard with branch circuit breakers

Transformer Options include:

• Copper or Aluminum Windings

• K-rating
• 80°C and 115°C rise

VTI can accomodate many more options than are listed here. See the Ordering Information below, or
contact us for inquiries or more information about UDS options.

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Power Dissipation

The following power dissipation rates are based on a UDS with the following configuration:

• Standard (non K-rated) HEVI-DUTY NEMA Type TP-1 Energy Star compliant 3-
phase transformer rated for 480V Primary and 208/120V Secondary with a 150°C Rise, fully
• SquareD NQOD Panelboard populated with 42 1-pole, 20A Type QO circuit breakers

Power Dissipation
KVA Rating Phase
15 KVA 3 606
30 KVA 3 921
45 KVA 3 1203
75 KVA 3 1647
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UDS doors closed

42 Circuit Panelboard with Circuit Breaker Lockout Kit installed (CBL option)
NEMA 3R UDS front view

NEMA 3R UDS w 2 12pole lighting contactors

30KVA xformer in NEMA 3R UDS

42 circuit panelboard,trim panel removed

UDS NEMA 3R Transient Suppression Network - closed door

Main Breaker with External Door Interlocks

UDS with a Top Mounted Terminal Box (TB option)

Top Mounted Terminal Box (TB option)

Stainless Steel UDS (NEMA 4X option)

Stainless Steel UDS (NEMA 4X option) - Closeup Full View from left
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The following materials are available:

• UDS Operations Manual (15K)

• Sample Panel Schedule Format (30K)
• UDS Dimensional Drawing (35K)
• Typical Sample UDS Specification (272K)
• Section 16000 Specification for UDS (52K)

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Ordering Information

VTI can modify the UDS in many ways according to a customer's needs. We recommend our online
UDS Design Guide, which will allow you to configure UDS units to your own specifications, and will
automatically generate a written quote, including pricing. Registration for this service is easy and
free, and includes access to Design Guides for our other products as well.

You are also welcome to contact VTI directly for questions or to discuss ordering if you prefer.

UDS Model Number Construction Guide

VTI uses a systematic method to construct descriptive Model Numbers for the UDS. These model
numbers include complete specifications on any unit and are suitable for inclusion in your Request for
Quote, Project Plan or other documents. To build a model number for a UDS, please use the following

UDS - [disconnect] [KVA] [CU] - [phase] [voltage] - 42 / [option list]

where the components of the model number include:

disconnect FD (Fused Disconnect)
MB (Main Breaker)
KVA 1Ø : 15, 25 or 37 KVA
3Ø : 15, 30, 45 or 75 KVA
CU enter CU if copper transformer only.
phase 1 Phase or 3 Phase
voltage 1Ø : 240 or 480 Volt
3Ø : 480, 600 or 480/277 Volt
option list enter comma-separated list of option codes (see below)

add multiple suffixes as required to the end of the Model Number:

Option Suffixes
PD Primary Non-Fused Disconnect K4 K4 Transformer for Typical Non-Linear Load
PB Primary Breaker K13 K13 Transformer for more severe Non-Linear Load
PFD Primary Fused Disconnect 80C 80°C rise transformer
CBL VTI Circuit Breaker Lockout Kit IGBCU Isolated Ground Bar, Copper
ST Shielded Transformer IGB Isolated Ground Bar
LCT Lighting Contactor (must specify ACU All Copper Lugs, Neutral and Panelboard Bus
Amps and # of poles)
HOA Hand-off Auto switch for 4X Modified NEMA 4 Enclosure (must specify corrosion
Contactor type: SST, AL or Corrosion Resistive paint)
CP Copper Panelboard bus only 3R NEMA Type 1 NEMA 3R Constructed Enclosure
BE Bottom Entry GBCU Ground Bar, Copper
FMT Flush-Mounting Trim panel GB Ground Bar (aluminum)
2X42 Dual 42 Circuit Panelboards RF Rejection Fuses
(34" Enclosure Only)