The Basic Principles of Transformers Painting - Professional Utility Services
Transformers painting is not as easy as turning on a switch. Still, it is essential to ensure that your transformer produces the electricity you need to run your home appliances and power life-saving medical equipment in an emergency. Professional utility services ensure electrical transformers painting is well done so that the electricity service around homes is flawless without interruptions or power outages, which are very common occurrences nowadays. Therefore, it's necessary to take great care so that the paint applied to your transformer does not crack or peel off after years of use.
What You Need to Know About Electrical Transformers as Explained by Professional Utility Services
Electrical transformers need paint because they're made with electromagnetic coils and other circuits inside them that require insulation, so they don't short out against each other. The insulation is made of paint because it can be easily sprayed onto the coils, is non-conducting, and doesn't create a short circuit or interrupt any inside circuits. Electrical transformers may also need to get painted if they're exposed to intense heat, light, or humidity. They are often exposed to these elements regularly, and the paint "sacrifices" itself to ensure the electrical continuity of the circuits inside. Once the paint is degraded, it must be removed and reapplied.
Transformers painting is More than Just a Coat of Paint
Professional utility services should consider many different factors when performing transformers painting, from the type of transformer they're painting to the kind of environment in which it will be installed to other electrical equipment in nearby spaces that may interfere with a successful application. There are many different types of transformers, and each requires a unique type of paint that must be applied in just the right way to ensure that it will provide the best mechanical and electrical protection.
There’s also a good deal of prep work that must be completed before transformers painting can occur. The professionals will want to make sure to begin painting a clean surface, not one that’s dirty or already rusted. So, to clean the transformers before painting, they’ll use a variety of tools, like pressure washers. They want to start with bare metal.
What Materials Are Used to Paint Electrical Transformers?
The main material many professional utility services in electrical transformers painting is epoxy paint. It is very durable and can withstand extreme temperatures and humid conditions without deteriorating. The other materials professional utility services use in electrical transformers painting are:
Spray primer or enamel
Acrylics (both watercolor paints and spray paints)
The materials used by professional utility services during electrical transformers painting vary depending on the type of transformer required to be painted. Professional utility services perform transformers painting on some transformers using only water-based paints that are engineered to withstand a wide range of temperatures. Others require special acids and other materials applied directly in the dip phase.
Most transformers, however, use water-based paints that have been developed to withstand hot, humid, wet environments such as those created by large industrial and commercial environments. The paints some professional utility services use during transformers painting are often epoxy or acrylic formulations modified with advanced chemicals and catalysts, giving them their unique properties and ability to withstand extreme environments.
Professional utility services usually conduct a curing process on any type of paint, whether standard latex or industrial grade epoxy. This process is necessary to set the chemical bonds in the paint and allow it to completely dry so that it can withstand temperatures and other outdoor elements. This is especially critical with industrial-grade paints because they are designed to last longer than standard latex paints.
The quality of paint used on large transformers is also very important because they're often exposed to extremely harsh environments. Professional utility services mostly use multi-layered paints during transformers painting for such transformers. This is to ensure they protect the transformer from the inside out, especially where it's most vulnerable — around electrical connections and circuitry.
How Is an Electrical Transformer Painted?
Professional utility services usually make their first step in electrical transformers painting to use a spray gun to apply an epoxy primer onto the electrical transformer. The primer is designed to protect the existing paint on the transformer and prevent new paint from adhering.
Next, the electrical transformer is painted with acrylic paints. Using acrylic paints instead of epoxy paints makes it possible to create a more subtle design on the electrical transformer that can be shaped in different ways depending on what's required. Afterward, we coat it with epoxy sealant to protect the painting from UV damage and chemicals.
The final step is to finish the electrical transformer using two or three coats of epoxy paint. Professional utility services’ painters use a spray gun or a handheld paintbrush to give the transformer a brushed effect. We recommend that thinners should not be used to clean the surface of the transformer because they can remove any paint from it, making it look worse than before.
One method we swear by is flow coat painting, which is a process in which the paint is allowed to flow over the surface of the transformer so that the entirety of it is coated evenly. This method of transformer painting is a tried-and-true champion in the industry. Definitely look for professional utility services that use flow coat painting methods.
Factors That Cause Weathering of Transformers
Processes such as wind, air, rainwater, and snow can damage transformers in the long term.
If the transformer is exposed to sunlight for a long period, it will get significantly heated, leading to the deterioration of its insulating material.
It can also happen that due to a lack of maintenance or not painting the transformer when they are installed into service, there is an accumulation of oil and other contaminants that cause corrosion or rusting on the transformer's surface and harm its insulation performance over time.
Transformers are often placed in areas subject to high humidity levels. This increases instances of capacitive switch occurrence resulting in fluctuating voltage quality, which can affect many things like the power supply of a product or even an entire strip in certain instances.
Transformers are susceptible to the electrical surges and currents that occur when they are exposed to lightning strikes, thunderstorms, and other wide area faults, as well as earth ground fault that can drastically damage the insulating material of the transformer over time.
Why Is Transformers Painting Important?
Now that we’ve covered many of the basics of transformers painting, like how it’s done and what materials professional utility services use, we can look at the reasons why this process is so important. Let’s dig in.
Prevents the Accumulation of Dirt, Dust, and Other Particles on the Surfaces of the Transformer
Since transformers are mechanical equipment, they require regular maintenance to avoid any problems in their performance. One thing that is required for most transformers is that they must be painted so as to keep them clean. This prevents dirt and dust from accumulating on them, which would eventually reduce their efficiency in a way or another and could even cause them to stop performing altogether. Professional utility services conduct transformers painting effectively to prevent dust accumulation on transformers.
Reduces Pollution on the Environment
By getting rid of dirt on transformers and making them look clean, it helps in reducing pollution. It also helps in keeping the environment clean and pollution-free. Also, this reduces electricity loss because dirt is one of the main reasons transformers lose electricity. They lose a lot of electricity because they are not well maintained, so they can not provide power to everyone at the same time.
Also, some transformers may have been bought after several years or even decades from a previous owner. As a result, there is a possibility that they had never been painted before. This means that most transformers do not look clean when they are not painted. Professionals who work for professional utility services are well trained, and they effectively clean and perform transformers painting on transformers to keep them free from dirt and dust.
Prevents Damage to the Insulating Paint of an Electrical Transformer and Improves its Efficiency
Insulating paint on electrical transformers is essential because it protects the insulating material from being damaged by any external force that comes from outside. If someone passes an earth fault current through this insulating material, it can get damaged. Also, suppose the transformer does not have any insulating paint. In that case, there is a possibility that the metal would get oxidized due to weathering. As a result, it may corrode or rust, depending on how much moisture there is in the area. This can make the transformer perform poorly. Professional utility services should always ensure that your transformer performs at its optimum condition by providing electrical transformers painting services so as to protect internal components from damage.
Increases the service life of the transformer
Since transformers are mechanical devices and consumers need them to function correctly and efficiently, they have a tendency to get damaged over time. Due to this fact, the more often they get replaced, the shorter their life will be. However, professional utility services should always aim to extend the life of your transformer by offering electrical transformer painting services before the transformers are installed into service. Their performance, therefore, improves since they have protection from dirt and other contaminants that can damage them over time.
Also, if transformers are well maintained, then there is a high possibility that they will last longer in total than those that were not painted or badly painted because of not following the correct procedures. Professional utility services should always conduct electrical transformers painting carefully and within the guidelines and regulations required.
Problems with Transformers Painting
Transformers are often painted by hand with brushes or sprayers, which can lead to an uneven application or parts of the transformer being left unpainted. This can cause a significant safety hazard because it allows chemicals to accumulate on the surface that is not visible. At the same time, they continue to damage the transformer and produce electrical arcs.
Many of the paints and primers used on electrical transformers are highly flammable and tend to catch fire if exposed to any type of heat source. This is especially true with older paints that do not contain flame retardant additives.
Unfortunately, electricity transformers are often placed in areas where they are subject to high heat. Furthermore, electrical transformers can be exposed to items that possess accelerants, such as welding sparks or hot welding equipment. This can cause the paint outside the transformer to melt and open up a pathway for the oil and chemicals inside to leak out. In addition, electrical transformers that have been damaged by other electrical surges may contain corrosive chemicals inside that can also act as accelerants if exposed to heat sources.
The best way to prevent any of these problems is by keeping the transformers dry and well-maintained at all times with regular inspections by professional utility services. These professionals are also well trained and experienced in electrical transformers painting. We also advise you to use only clean water or fresh water for cleaning transformers, as saltwater can cause rust and corrosion.