50 MVA-A A +A
Just Passing By
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
IT REFERS to a power transformer, alright. And it is a transformer that has a capacity of 50 MVA. The MVA stands for megavolt ampere while the 50, if I understood the electrical engineers correctly, means the capacity of the transformer or the load of power it could accommodate and convey.
This is what BENECO will officially commission on Friday, Oct. 26, at its substation at north Sanitary Camp in the City. Non-engineers like me might just take the 50 MVA power substation as ordinary, seeing it like one of those big accordion like machines or equipment seen in high tension areas fenced from public access. They have thick cables, steel boxes, circular insulators and all that stuff only engineers can appreciate.
But mind you, the 50 MVA BENECO will soon unleash will ensure a reliable power capacity for Baguio City in the next twenty five years. Purchased at a cost of more than P19 million from Ningbo, Tianan in China, the power transformer replaced the 1980 installed 20 MVA at Sanitary Camp which was long ripe for retirement and decommissioning. The move seeks to address an anticipated increase in power demand in the years ahead based on carefully forecasted load growth.
Engr. Rocky Pallogan, the electric cooperative’s dark and handsome but not tall boss at the Operations and Maintenance Department (OMD), says the increased capacity of the Sanitary Camp substation will be able to answer Baguio City’s power needs in the future. Big business which will intend to invest and a growing captive market need not worry about the cooperative’s capacity to deliver. BENECO simply doesn’t want to be caught with its pants down just like what happened to the City in the case of the Irisan dumpsite.
But how safe is the power substation considering that it is located within a residential area? Rocky says there is no reason to worry. He says the 50 MVA, which reached the City from China after two weeks of travel in August, is top of the line. It has complied with the installation requirements of the grid and it is well equipped with protective devices such as circuit breakers, lightning arresters, disconnection switches, grounding equipment and constantly monitored in real time by BENECO’s Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) center.
In the first place, Rocky swears, the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) would have refused to connect to the power substation if BENECO has not complied with installation and connection protocols. Please take note that the 50 MVA is a power transformer that steps down high voltage electricity from the NGCP’s transmission lines into distribution voltage or that voltage level that could pump in power into our electric bulbs or household appliances.
The 50 MVA transformer thus transforms the NGCP’s 69 KV into 23 KV. Through distribution transformers, the 23 KV further goes down into 220 volts that would go into our outlets. Engr. Caloy Andres, design and construction supervisor of the Department of Engineering, is so amused when I pester him into laymanizing these technical terms for my and your consumption. Caloy was a key player of the team that escorted the 56,160 kilo transformer in its snail paced route from Marcos highway to Paraiso.
Don’t worry Caloy, I don’t have ambitions of crossing into your turf or that of Sir Melchor, your boss. You can rest with your dance steps while Mel can continue hitting his balls. Golf balls, I mean. I simply wish that through this weekly piece, I and the readers will come to terms with your language.
Does the 50 MVA substation emit radiation that could harm residents and passersby? Definitely not, declares Rocky. Transformers and substations do not emit any smoke, rays or what have you that may put life or the environment in peril.
How about the rate? Will it increase because of the purchase of the 50 MVA power transformer? No, it won’t. That’s for sure.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on October 24, 2012.