Back-up transformer used to repair widespread power outage

USA, Alabama: A back-up transformer has been used recently due to a massive power outage that affected the City of Cullman and Cullman County.

One of the main power transformers at the north Cullman substation failed on Saturday afternoon and caused an outage, writes Cullman Times. The Cullman Electric Cooperative and Cullman Power Board switched the power load onto a back-up transformer housed at the substation.

Co-op spokesperson Brian Lacy said that the outage would have lasted for several days had they not used the back-up transformer.
“Those types of transformers are literally the size of a house, they’re absolutely massive,” Lacy said. “You saw 15,000 people go out from that because it is one of TVA’s main transmission lines that feed in there, then it goes out to smaller substations across the county. From Holly Pond, to Berlin and Jones Chapel. That’s why you saw outages all over.”

“As far as making those repairs, when an outage like that occurs it’s not extremely complicated, but it’s just a matter of getting all the connections hooked up to the back-up transformer there,” Co-op spokesperson Brian Lacy said. “That is a fairly time-consuming process. Once everything is connected, and you turn it on, it takes some time for that transformer to warm up. You can’t just flip the switch all at once, or that could cause the entire substation to go out again. You have to bring it on a little at a time.”

According to Lacy, the failure could had been caused by recent cold temperatures but it was more likely due to aging equipment. He added that measures have been taken to upgrade the station in order to avoid further outages.

Source: Cullman Times