5 Things to Look for When Renting a Transformer

How do you choose a transformer? Well, choosing a transformer rental is a smart start. You access the exact transformer you need, and you get professional support for a lower cost than buying the transformer outright. If you’re renting a transformer for your business, there are things you should know about how to choose the right transformer. We’ll go over some of those below. 

1. What Type of Transformer Do You Need? 

Most businesses will be choosing a transformer for their power supply needs. Depending on your current electrical system and what gap you’re trying to fill, you may need one (or more) of these types of transformers: 

  • Autotransformers: You can use this type of transformer on singular loads, i.e. an induction motor, a heater, a pump.  
  • Isolation Transformers: You can use this type of transformer to support multiple loads through a breaker/distribution panel; with improved safety and power quality. 

2. What Size Transformer Do You Need? 

Once you have determined what type of transformer you need, next you need to understand how much power you will need. You will need to know the load/required voltage and amperage, as well as the available supply voltage and amperage.  

For example, a 240V 1PH heater that draws 30amps requires 7.2kVA of power (@1.0 PF), if you have a 15amp breaker (600V, 2P) available it would supply up to 9.0kVA of power. In this case, you would need a minimum of 7.2kVA 600V step down to 240V Autotransformer which could be fed from the 15amp 600V 2P breaker.  

Your options for transformer size are very wide, including: 

  • Industrial Transformers: Great for temporary power needs, these are 120 – 1,000V transformers, available from 30kVA to +2,500kVA.  
  • Entertainment Transformers: Seamless and fully-kitted to Rock & Roll. Multi-voltage, Camlok connections, loading/lifting provisions, and built-in overcurrent protection for quick mob/de-mob. Set up is 75% quicker than standard equipment.  
  • Medium Voltage Transformer: Need big power from big voltage? These transformers start at 300kva and go up to +20MVA! Typical voltages include 2,400, 4,160, 12,470, 13,800, 14,400, 25,000, 27,600, & 44,000V. 

If you need help assessing your power needs, VCM Solutions can help. 

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3. How Can You Protect the Transformer? 

Or how can the transformer protect you? You need safety features for your transformer to operate safely. Options for your transformers depend on its size and use. For example, if you’re setting up a stage in an outdoor field all equipment needs to be NEMA 3R (or better) with ground fault protection. All transformers require overcurrent protection to avoid over-heating, similar to all electrical devices, even your electric kettle has a built-in fuse. 

4. The Accessories That You Need 

You may need accessories that should come with the transformer rental. This might include: 

  • Temporary cables 
  • Beakers 
  • Disconnects, non/fusible  
  • Cable mats 
  • Metering/Monitoring 

5. What Support is Available? 

When renting a transformer, you want to work with a supplier that will support you and ensure your transformer is ideal for your operation, working safely, and getting the maintenance that it needs. The team at VCM Solutions is always here to help.