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Stromnetz Berlin donates 40 transformers to Ukraine

Refurbished equipment to help rebuild the power supply

Stromnetz Berlin GmbH is helping to restore the power supply in Ukraine, providing 40 transformers from its existing stock. The company is responding to a call for donations from the Berlin Senate Department for Economics, Energy and Public Enterprises and the Senate Chancellery. The equipment was no longer needed in the Berlin distribution grid and was replaced as a precautionary measure in preparation for a possible gas shortage. The donated transformers are fully functional, having been refurbished for use in Ukraine. Each of the transformers has a material value of around 4,000 euros.

Today, Tuesday, Stromnetz Berlin Managing Director Dr Erik Landeck handed the 40 transformers over to the Ukrainian NGO Go Local in the presence of the Governing Mayor of Berlin, Franziska Giffey, and State Secretary in the Berlin Senate Department for Economics, Energy and Public Enterprises, Tino Schopf. Go Local will arrange transport to Ukraine and ensure that the transformers are handed over to energy companies in war-affected areas.

Franziska Giffey on the donations: “There has been war in Europe for almost a year now. It is clear that Russia is specifically attacking and destroying Ukraine’s infrastructure in the cold winter months. This is cruel and inhumane. Berlin has been supporting Ukraine from the start of the war. We help where we can: The transformers from local company Stromnetz Berlin GmbH reflect our solidarity with Ukraine. I offer my heartfelt thanks for this donation.”

Tino Schopf (Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Stromnetz Berlin GmbH): “This vital donation to Ukraine shows how well and efficiently we work together in the state of Berlin. Once again, it is clear how committed the Berlin economy and regional companies are, both to helping the refugees from Ukraine in our city and to directly supporting the affected people in Ukraine. I am delighted that we are making an important contribution to the resistance of the Ukrainian people and the rebuilding of their country.”

Dr Erik Landeck: “We know very well how important a functioning infrastructure is and the problems and challenges that have to be overcome on a daily basis when operating an energy supply. This increases our respect and regard all the more so for what the Ukrainian specialists are currently achieving with their electricity supply. We hope that our 40 transformers will be a strong and effective component in restoring power in the affected areas.” 

Why are transformers needed?

Transformers are required to ensure that electrical energy can be transferred from the power plant to the sockets of each place of residence with as little loss as possible. In the case of alternating voltage, transformers change both the voltage level and the current, enabling the energy to be transported over long distances. A high voltage corresponds to a lower current, resulting in lower losses when transporting the electricity.

Three-phase transformers that convert from the medium voltage range (10,000 volts) to the low voltage range (400 volts) are an important part of this transmission chain. They are therefore found in close proximity to all households and provide the power at the socket (400 V between two phases, 230 V between one phase and earth).

The equipment we are donating belongs to this group of three-phase transformers. Their special feature is that they have five different voltage levels, which enable them to be adapted to the relevant grid conditions. All parts of the transformer (iron core, copper or aluminium windings, various supporting structures for mechanical stability) are located in a closed tank. The spaces inside the tank are filled with an ester for improved insulation and cooling, which is a much lower-polluting solution than the mineral oil normally used for this purpose.

Each of these transformers weighs around 1,600 kilograms and is around 1.2 by 0.8 metres in size.