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Does the IFD fit all distribution transformer sizes and types?

Yes. The IFD is a one-size-fits-all device that can be installed in all single and three phase poletop and padmounted distribution transformers from 10kVA through 3000 kVA.

How do I implement the IFD into my transformers?

The simplest and fastest way to start deploying IFD’s on your system is to add the IFD to your distribution pole mounted transformer, pad mounted transformer specifications.  Your transformer manufacturers can then immediately begin to install the IFD in your transformers at the factory.

Following is some suggested text that could be added to your specifications:

“Each transformer shall be equipped with a non-resettable device, which detects and provides external indication of internal transformer faults, and also incorporates pressure relief functionality.  Installation shall be per the specifications provided by the device manufacturer. The approved device is manufactured by IFD Corporation.”

In addition, utilities can also install IFDs in refurbished transformers, either in their own shop, or through a refurbisher.  Please contact IFD for more information about this option.

Do you work with all of the transformer manufacturers?

Yes.  Every major transformer manufacturer in North America and several refurbishers have been successfully installing IFDs for years. IFD Corporation has visited each of the major transformer manufacturers and certified their operations in order to ensure all IFDs are installed correctly.

What return on investment can I expect from the IFD?

In addition to improving worker safety, the maintenance-free IFD mechanical sensor provides set-it-and-forget-it operation and a typical 12:1 ROI over the life of the transformer. The IFD represents value whether it activates or not, since it always saves troubleshooting time. Contact your local rep for an estimate of how the IFD can start saving your utility money.

What do line crews need to do with an IFD-equipped transformer?

Installing IFD equipped transformers
  1. Install transformer following your normal procedures
  2. Make electrical connections following your normal procedures
  3. Remove shipping lock by turning 90° counter-clockwise
    • It’s common practice to keep the shipping lock for future re-use during a service upgrade
  4. Energize the transformer
Removing faulted IFD equipped transformers
  1. Look for the IFD signal to verify the transformer has faulted
    • No other testing or inspection is required
  2. Remove transformer following your normal procedures
Removing un-faulted (good) IFD equipped transformers for a service upgrade
  1. Look to verify the transformer is energized and the IFD signal has not activated
  2. De-energize the transformer following your normal procedures
  3. Install shipping lock:
  • Slide over the PRV pull ring
  • Align the ‘bolt’ horizontally
  • Push firmly and then turn 90° clockwise
Troubleshooting a transformer outage when the IFD has not activated
  1. Verify the transformer fuse has operated and the IFD has not activated
  2. The transformer should be safe to re-energize, but our guidance is to perform all normal fault checks as nothing should be considered 100% when it comes to safety
  3. Take appropriate action as per your normal procedures

How often do distribution transformers experience internal faults?

Industry averages indicate that between 2% and 5% of the total pole-type distribution transformer population in North America is re-energized every year Of these, approximately 20% have internal faults and approximately 3-5% result in tank ruptures or blown lids.

Numbers will vary from utility to utility depending on frequency and severity of storms, lightning and other such factors.

Importantly however, the IFD will provide line crew guidance in all re-energizing attempts. If the IFD has not activated the transformer should be safe to re-energize, and the fuse cutout operated for reasons other than a faulted transformer. The IFD provides value whether the transformer faulted or not, since it gives lineman immediate status as to the condition of the transformer, which always saves time.

How reliable is the IFD?

The IFD has been designed to exceed the life of the transformer.

With over 1.3 million IFDs installed in over 550 utilities since 2001, with no reports of false positives or false negatives, line crews have come to trust the IFD to tell them the condition of the transformer at all times, from a distance.

Today at many utilities the IFD is a benchmark in transformer safety that provides a simple, easy-to-use message:

“See the signal, remove the transformer!”

We have achieved this level of reliability with our dedication to test every IFD we build to ensure it activates before we ship it. Our commitment to ongoing quality and continuous improvement is demonstrated by our achievement of an  ISO 9001-2008 certification through a certified system.