Snowy Hydro is carrying out a large project to refurbish the Murray 1 Power Station generator step-up transformers, a process that will significantly extend the life of these important Snowy Scheme assets.
Reconditioning and replacement of the bushings will help to increase the lifespan of the transformers by an extra 15 years. Under normal conditions, transformers are expected to operate for 30 to 40 years, but thanks to the thorough effort Snowy puts into maintaining its assets, the Murray 1 Power Station transformers will operate for many years to come – an amazing achievement.
There have been a number of obstacles to overcome during the course of this project, including road closures along the Alpine Way due to natural incidents, weather extremes in the Snowy Mountains, and above all, COVID-19 and the closing of the border between New South Wales and Victoria.
Murray 1 is located near Khancoban and Wilson Transformer Company (WTC), based in Melbourne, which was hired to do some of the important work, navigated a six-week government approval process to cross the border from Victoria to work on the refurbishment through the pandemic.
WTC manufactured a purpose-built dry out tank at its Glen Waverley factory specifically for this major Snowy Hydro project.
The tank is utilised after the team has de-tanked the core and coils – which are then both put inside the dry-out tank. The team completes welding works and modification of the old transformer tank and lid, before re-tanking the unit into the original body.
There are two more Murray 1 transformer refurbishments and bushing replacements remaining, with the last scheduled to be completed in November 2022.
So far, the project has been highly successful, with approximately 100 workers involved, and no safety concerns or injuries. Snowy Hydro appreciates all those contributing to this project for prioritising safety and health above everything else.
In addition, Snowy Hydro and WTC have worked with many local businesses in the construction, including electrical contractors PHE and Roddy Engineering, both based in Tumut, NSW.