Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Oh look! A pole transformer, but…

A few weeks ago I happened to spot some tech details about pole-mounted transformers as used in the US.

Differing requirements (and probably regulations) make these more common there than in the UK, although there’s probably no shortage of them here once you move into sparsely populated areas, where they provided localised electricity supplies for areas which are isolated from the more common underground distribution found in more densely populated areas.

Here, they can often be found at the end of a row of poles carrying relatively high voltage wires overhead, until the reach the pole transformer, where the voltage is stepped down to something that can be more easily handled by lower voltage insulated cables running underground.

Last week, without thinking too much about it, I snapped a pic of one I happened to find myself standing beside while staggering around the banks of the River Clyde near Cambuslang.

I was really more interested in the rating plate than anything else, just to see what sort of voltage and current was being handled.

And this is what the plate told me.

Pole Transformer Plate

Pole Transformer Plate

Most of it is standard stuff, and I feel reasonably safe knowing I have a few metres between me and a meaty 11 kV supply. I’m probably at greater risk of more than half a tonne of metal and oil landing on me from a rotting wooden pole than of being zapped.

The only thing worth adding is that the O.N.A.N. cooling acronym refers to oil normal air normal.

BUT…

Then I looked at the pic I’d taken of the transformer.

Pole Transformer River Clyde Path

Pole Transformer River Clyde Path

I was so busy worrying about the subject being backlit, and possibly going to turn out as nothing more than a black shadow against a bright sky, that I completely failed to notice the technical detail of what I was photographing.

Have you spotted the slight anomaly now that I’ve prompted you?

There are NO overhead wires arriving at this transformer!

Just loop above it – delivering the 11 kV primary from a small ‘tree’ of insulators just visible at the rear of the pole.

Between the tree and the transformer, I’m guessing (since I can’t actually look closer until I go back) that’s an isolator in the middle of the loops, so the transformer can be manually isolated for maintenance. If I get back down there, I’ll also have to remember to have a look at the cable runs on the pole, since there must, presumably, be a rather high voltage type there, which would be interesting to spot.

Funny how you can completely fail to notice a significant detail, even when staring right at it.

Worth remembering, as it seems some of the WORST evidence gathered during police enquires comes from… EYE WITNESSES!

 

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28/09/2018 - Posted by | Civilian, photography | , ,

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