South Africa, and Africa in general, are late adopters of dry-type transformer technology. However, there is an increase in demand for, and uptake of, the technology among a variety of applications, which points to a growing market across Africa.
Although dry-type transformers are used in a variety of applications, including at mines, oil refineries, and hotels etc., the most significant area of growth has been new data centers, which run particular loads and have stringent safety requirements.
Also, space is at a premium in South Africa, owing to the country’s exponential urbanization growth, particularly around major metropolitan areas. This has resulted in more high-rise buildings and more highly condensed areas. It makes technical sense to install a dry-type transformer, rather than an oil-filled transformer, in the basement of a building because it is so much safer and it significantly reduces the risk of fire to the building and its inhabitants. This increase in demand might be also be attributable to the cost of dry-type transformer technology, which has decreased over the past ten years, while the technology has improved.
Last year in August 2019, a leading Italian transformer manufacturer TMC Transformers went into partnership with South African transformer supplier Trafo Power Solutions to tap dry-type transformers market in Africa. According to TMC Transformers business development manager, “The business prospects for TMC in Africa are quite good and we note that there are many different signals or business indexes that have shown a plan for investment.” Link to the news: