New desktop transformer simulator improves lineman training.
Mark Todd, Senior Safety & Training Specialist for ElectriCities of North Carolina, Inc. uses the Load-Trainer in their Municipal Transformer Schools. “The new boards are lighter and much easier to transport”, he says. Feedback from several training programs like this helped to improve the design and function of the new Load-Trainer II.
While most houses receive electricity from a single transformer, larger facilities use 3-phase power, which requires “banking” multiple transformers. Linemen must have specialized training in order to build and maintain transformer banks on today’s modern power grid. “The students get to plug and play on the [Load Trainer] boards”, says Jeff Clark, one of the Training Specialists for ElectriCities. “It allows for hands on training and wiring right there in the classroom”.
Jon Spencer, an Engineer for USI, was part of the team that developed the new unit. “The new Load-Trainer brings the textbook to life”, he says. “We used industry standard diagrams and drawings so an instructor can demonstrate voltages, polarity, back-feeding, phase angles, and even loads in real time using standard textbook examples.” The new Load-Trainer II allows an instructor to control each of the three transformer simulators via a 7″ touchscreen or by using the wireless mouse, which comes standard.
Another feature of the Load-Trainer II is the HDMI connection allowing a projector or big screen to display demonstrations to a whole classroom. “We can have an entire class of lineman involved now”, says Mark Todd, “not just those around the desktop unit”.
USI is targeting lineman schools, utilities and contractors who service overhead distribution systems. Demo units are currently traveling throughout the US and Canada and will be on display at the upcoming NECA show in Philadelphia as well as the International Lineman’s Rodeo in Kansas City.