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IP56 protection enclosures for applications in particularly challenging environments

Cast-resin and dry-type transformers are not suitable for outdoor installation unless they are placed inside a protective enclosure which can be made of pickled or galvanised sheet metal (even aluminium), and according to the degree of protection required.

In particularly humid environments or those with highly corrosive substances, such as industries or areas with almost permanent levels of condensation, with elevated levels of pollution or in mines, total protection is recommended. In this case, the protection enclosure must be hermetically sealed, i.e. watertight, even if this implies certain limitations in the operation of the transformer itself, such as the fact that it cannot be used for excessively high powers.

GBE has been manufacturing special enclosures with protection degrees up to IP55 and IP56 for a number of years for Siemens, one of the world’s largest electrical engineering companies.  These enclosures are manufactured using the same construction criteria as a tank for oil transformers. Both the base and the panels and roof are anchored to the load-bearing structure using watertight seals and are UV-protected. The heat produced by the transformer is dissipated through the external surface of the box and panels. This requires an oversizing of the transformer and a reduction in its operating temperatures. The difference between the temperature inside and the temperature outside the box is obtained via a series of analytical calculations, which take into account the total load losses of the transformer, the total area of the box and the dissipation coefficient per m² extrapolated from repeated measurements and tests. For elevated powers and to optimise the size of the box, the panels are fitted with fins to increase the dissipation surface area.

Based on many years of experience, the results that have been obtained are excellent. We want to highlight that the protection degree IP56 must not only guarantee protection from dust but, more importantly, from powerful jets of water.


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