The Bhutan Power Corporation, BPC, is replacing old transformers with unitized substations in Thimphu. The old conventional transformers are kept in the open and are vulnerable to frequent voltage fluctuations. The new unitized substations are much safer since it is enclosed, and prevent voltage fluctuations. Unitized substations are designed to provide safe, reliable and economical electrical power distribution.
The BPC is currently replacing conventional transformers with unitized substations in the core areas of Thimphu. Almost 60 per cent of the replacement work is completed.
The BPC says each unitized substation costs Nu 3.5 M. The replacement of conventional transformers started in 2007. Currently, the BPC is replacing about 20 old transformers a year.
Since the replacement is ongoing, voltage fluctuations from conventional transformers frequently occur.
At Jungzhina in Thimphu, several electrical appliances such as LED bulbs, rice cookers, and water boilers of seven households were damaged by voltage fluctuation from an outdoor transformer on the night of January 25.
“I woke up at 3 in the morning and heard a loud continuous noise, so I checked several appliances. I found out that the fluctuation had damaged most of them, especially the LED bulbs, and I had to replace them. I got two pieces from Hejo, and it cost me Nu 1,280 per piece. Since it is expensive and not readily available in Thimphu, I had to order it all the way from Siliguri to get the bulbs at a cheaper rate, which was Nu 840 per piece,” said Tshering Zam, a resident.
“When I opened my shop at around eight in the morning, I knew about the fluctuation since the refrigerator was not working. I had to instantly repair it since the dairy products that I sell would go bad,” said Khandu Wangmo, a shopkeeper.
The BPC has agreed to compensate the affected residents. However, the BPC says they have not received a written complaint from the residents yet.
The BPC suggests using voltage surge protectors to prevent damage to appliances during voltage fluctuations.
Tashi Dekar/Deki Lhazom
Edited by Sherub Dorji
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