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ATEX and IEC Ex Flame-proof Explosion Proof Lighting & Equipment
Explosion Proof Lights
Explosion Proof Motors - Motors for Hazardous Locations
Industrial and Vaporproof Emergency Failsafe Lighting
Industrial Cord Reels and Tool Taps
Industrial Work Area Heaters
Machine Vision Lights
QC Series Industrial Portable Lighting - Quick Change Mount
Rig Lights
Stadium lights
String Lights and Temporary Light Stringers
Tank Cleaning Lights
Three Phase Motor Soft Starters
Vapor Proof LED Lights
Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs)
Vehicle Mounting Plates
Workboat Light Fixtures & Lighting Equipment
Yacht Engine Room Lights
Color Changing LED RGB Lighting
Explosion Proof Cord Reels
GOLIGHT Spotlights
Larson FUTURE - Lease Lighting
Remote Area Lighting and Scene Lights
Utility Bucket Mount, Receiver Hitch & Trailer Mount Lighting
Aevum Control Lighting and Equipment - IIoT
Butane and Solvent Extraction Room Lighting and Equipment
DC to DC Transformers and Power Supplies
Explosion Proof Fans & Blowers
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Fleet Service Lights and Lighting Equipment
Industrial Equipment Trailers
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ISO 14644/FS-209E Clean Room Lighting
LED Blasting Lights
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Portable AC Power Supply Units
Portable Power Distribution Panels
Power Distribution Panels with KVA Transformers
Self-Contained Lighting
Service Pit Lighting
Solar Generators & Solar Powered Lighting
Agricultural Farm Equipment Lighting & Beacons
Explosion Proof Cameras & Surveillance Systems
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LED Grow Lights
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Portable Hazardous Location Lighting
Radio Communication Towers and Equipment
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ATEX Rated Explosion Proof Lights
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Work Site Lighting

09/18/17 Avoiding Transformer Fires and Explosions – Best Practices and Safety Guidelines

Article - September 18, 2017 By

1000 kVA Pad Mount Transformer - 13200V Delta Primary - 208Y/120 Secondary - Dry Type - NEMA 3R

Avoiding Transformer Fires and Explosions – Best Practices and Safety Guidelines

In 2013, a coal-fired power plant in Georgia was rocked by a crippling explosion that injured three workers. During routine maintenance, a transformer caught on fire, resulting in damages to critical control rooms and other sections of the facility.

Investigators who were tasked with providing evidence surrounding the incident verified that human error was the cause of the accident. Operators failed to communicate properly during operations. The explosion stemmed from a volatile mixture of hydrogen and air.

OSHA released a memo, under Region 4 News Release: 13-1937-ATL (259), highlighting the violations observed by investigators. A total of 17 citations were raised, which amounted to $119,000 in proposed penalties.

Why Do Transformer Fires Happen?

Transformer fires occur when abnormal conditions are present. For electric transformers that rely on oil for cooling, the presence of a high-energy arc (during an internal fault) can set off explosive gases, if left unaddressed. This causes oil to vaporize, causing massive amounts of pressure to build up inside the unit. As pressure accelerates, the transformer becomes overwhelmed, resulting in an explosion.

Lightning strikes can also cause transformers to explode – though such instances are considered to be rare. Moreover, outdated transformers may have faulty protective circuits, which could fail to turn off the unit, should voltage spikes or abnormal conditions occur.

Tips for Avoiding Transformer Fires and Explosions

Below are some tips for preventing transformer fires:

• Use explosion proof equipment

• Perform periodic inspections and testing

• Use a transformer protector and monitoring devices

• Ensure pressure relief valves are working properly

• Install water-spraying systems or foam-extinguishing units

• Educate workers and operators

Note: Some of these techniques are designed to prevent transformer fires from spreading, in the event of an explosion. While other recommendations, such as the use of explosion proof equipment, help reduce the possibility of igniting flammable compounds present in the hazardous location.

Related Categories/Products
Category/Product (click on link below for more information)
Power Distribution Panels with KVA Transformers
Explosion Proof Fans & Blowers
Portable Explosion Proof Lights
Power Plant Lighting
Industrial Transformers
Articles - Work Area
Articles - Portable C1D1
9-15 KVA Portable Power Distribution Systems
9-15 KVA Industrial Transformers
Explosion Proof Exit Signs
300 kVA Transformer - 600V Primary - 480V Secondary - 3 Phase - NEMA 3R Enclosure
150KVA Power Distribution - 480V to 208Y/120V 3PH - (4) 460R7W - (12) 5-20 GFCI Outlets
600kVA Transformer - 3-Phase - 480V Primary - 400V Secondary - Class H - IP24
500 kVA 3-Phase Pad Mounted Transformer - 2400 Delta x 4160 Delta Primary - 480Y/277V Secondary
6 kVA General Duty Transformer - 3 Phase - 480 Delta Primary - 240 Delta Secondary - NEMA 3R
300 kVA Autotransformer - 480V Delta Primary Voltage - 230V Delta Secondary Voltage - NEMA 1
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