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Heavy-duty electricity hooked above Berlin

Transformers for the new Rollberg substation are being installed via the roof


The three transformers for the new “Rollberg Substation” (Neukölln) have been arriving in Berlin this week. The first one was delivered to the new premises on Tuesday (09.05.23). It is special because the transformers are to be installed in their future workplace using a 500-ton truck-mounted crane via openings in the roof of the building. This will be a technical feat because the openings, at a height of more than 20 metres, are only a few centimetres larger than the all-round dimensions of the 55-ton transformers. And the crane operator has to work mainly "blind" with only radio commands to guide them.

Normally, transformers are positioned as complete units on the ground. This is not possible at the Rollbergstraße site, because the new substation is adjacent to the existing one, which is still in operation. After the new system is commissioned, the old one will be dismantled. The work, including the dismantling of the old system, is set to be completed in 2028.

The transformers have rail-wagon type wheels and stand on short railway tracks that are spring-mounted in individual rooms called transformer boxes. The transformer converts the 110,000-volt electricity arriving at the substation into 10,000 volts for customer connections in the neighbourhood. Around 38,000 households and 3,600 commercial customers will be supplied with electricity from the new Rollberg substation in the future.Die drei Transformatoren für das neue Umspannwerk “UW Rollberg” (Neukölln) kommen in dieser Woche nach Berlin. Der erste wurde am Dienstag (09.05.23) am Standort des Neubaus angeliefert. Besonderheit: Die Trafos werden nun von einem 500-Tonnen-Autokran über Öffnungen im Dach des Gebäudes an ihren künftigen Arbeitsplatz gebracht. Eine technische Höchstleistung – die Öffnungen in mehr als 20 Metern Höhe sind nämlich an allen Seiten nur wenige Zentimeter größer als die 55 Tonnen schweren Trafos. Und der Kranführer arbeitet dabei weitgehend ohne Sicht, nur mit Funk-Kommandos.


  • Voltage level: 110/10 Kilovolt (kV)
  • Connected load: 31,5 Megavoltampere (MVA)
  • Width: 3,20 Meter
  • Length: 5,80 Meter
  • Height: 3,30 Meter
  • Weight: 55 Tonnen
  • Planned operating life: 30+ Jahre