Electric co-op says it cannot transfer transformers away from residential houses; assures safety standards followed


Electric co-op says it cannot transfer transformers away from residential houses; assures safety standards followed

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet, July 4 (PIA) – – The Benguet Electric Cooperative (BENECO) could not readily grant the request of Itogon officials to ransfer its transformers away from residential houses but allayed fears of the dangers it pose as safety standards had been followed. 
Its General Manager Gerardo Verzosa responded to the request not to install transformers near residential areas due to the danger it may pose. The community is apprehensive about the supposed threats to lives and the damage it may cause in the event transformers burst due to overloading and short circuit. 

In his letter dated June 6, 2012 addressed to the Provincial Board through Vice Governor Crescencio Pacalso and to Itogon Mayor Oscar Camantiles, Verzosa stated, “Much as we would like to grant the request of the Itogon Sangguniang Bayan not to install transformers near residential areas, we regret that the said request could not be readily granted.” 

Although electricity is indeed a dangerous commodity, it is a fact that the civilized world is supplied with electricity, and transformers are installed near residential houses provided following safety standards, stated Verzosa. 

The Philippine Electrical Code and the Philippine Distribution Code on safety standards in the installation of electrical lines and equipment specifies the minimum clearance requirements and necessary protection equipment, he further stated. 

He admitted the occurrence of transformer overloading caused additional loads but assured the necessary protection measures such as metal enclosures of transformers designed to withstand the heat and pressure produced under such circumstance. 

Verzosa said the lines and equipment are adequately protected with the fitting of fuses to break short circuits. These fuses are safety devices or sacrificial device which get busted to prevent the flow current. 

Based on the basic principle of electrical efficiency, reliability and cost to benefit optimization, Verzosa stressed that it is most appropriate to install a distribution transformer as near as possible to areas or loads intended to supply power. 

With the nature of residential houses sparsely scattered with only light to moderate loads, he said locating a transformer outside the cluster of residential loads to be energized will result to poor reliability. This is due to higher probability of interruptions and low voltage to the households because of large voltage drops as it takes longer lines before reaching the service area. 

Verzosa explained that low voltage will increase systems loss while poor reliability will increase cost of power relative to unused paid capacity. 

He said it is also not cost efficient as it requires more investment to install the facilities and higher cost of operations and maintenance due to poor reliability. 

BENECO has to take into consideration the provisions of electrical safety standards, electrical principles in power distribution and electrical economics before granting the request of the Itogon council, Verzosa clarified. 

Verzosa opened the doors to Itogon officials for clarification on the issue. (JDP/SCA- PIA CAR,Benguet) 

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