Single Phase Substations Exceed Expectations of Remote Providers
July 5, 2016
The electrical needs of remote and rural areas are different than big cities. Solomon Corporation’s small kva single phase substation transformers provide a solution for rural and remote areas where small amounts of single or three phase power is needed and low voltage distribution power lines are not available.
The small kva single phase substation transformers can be used on transmission systems 40-69 KV. Demand comes from Rural Electric Cooperatives and Associations. Many of Solomon’s substations are in use in rural and remote areas of the Upper Midwest and western United States – including Wyoming, Montana, North Dakota and Idaho – where load requirements are small. Even though there are fewer people that live in those areas, Director of Engineering Ken Puetz said, “we are seeing demand go up.”
Finding A Niche In The Market
Although there is demand for the small kva single phase substation transformers, most companies in the industry won’t even manufacture them. “There are perhaps only a handful that even make them,” said Puetz. They choose not to build them so they can make the higher cost, much larger transformers.
“Think about a car company,” Puetz explained. “Building a small car takes the same resources, manpower and space on the assembly line as making a Cadillac Escalade. The company chooses to make the higher price-point vehicle because that makes sense to them.”
The small kva single phase substation can be built to meet RUS specifications with a minimum height of 108” to bottom of low voltage bushings. The smaller kva size makes them more difficult to build than the larger transformers. The smaller sized tanks have tighter clearances, which make properly insulating them more challenging than larger transformers. “We improved the design of core and coil assembly to account for tighter tolerances,” Puetz said.
Faster, Higher Quality, Less expensive
Competitors will build single phase substation transformers when they get an order for one. However, this means the customer is likely to pay a premium because production inefficiencies require it. Solomon manufactured 24 single phase substations in 2015.
Because the company production areas are flexible and can accommodate the small kva single phase substation transformer, Puetz said, Solomon is able to build them faster and significantly cheaper, as much as 30% less than the competition. Turnaround time for a custom-built substation is 8-10 weeks.
Understanding our customers’ needs and building a quality product are what drives Solomon Corporation. Contact us to learn more.