The Columbia story: In 2011, following a successful pilot project, a utility active throughout South America replaces its old, conventional dehydrating breathers with 90 MESSKO® MTraB® dehydrating breathers. Transformers in the middle of the rain forest, not far from the Pacific coast. A mostly deserted area. Soldiers guard the remote transformer stations. Temperatures above 40 degrees Celsius and suffocating 90 percent humidity put the technology here to the test.

In this scenario, MESSKO® MTraB® dehydrating breathers make full use of their greatest strengths: as soon as the silica gel within is saturated with liquid, sensor-controlled heating units automatically regenerate its absorption power. Instead of the oil reservoirs typically used in conventional dehydrating breathers, stainless steel filters keep the air clear of insects and dirt particles. Extremely break-proof, temperature-stable Duran glass provides the devices with continuous, reliable protection. The positive outcome of this retrofitting project: previously necessary inspection and maintenance work is now a thing of the past, the customer reduces its operating costs significantly and soon after the project end, Messko receives follow-up orders of the MTraB® dehydrating breathers for Chile and Peru.

Now, switching our focus to Canada: a short time later, MESSKO® MTraB® helps transformers to breathe a little easier in the HVDC transmission transformer stations of a large energy provider based in Winnipeg. And this under enormous temperature fluctuations since in the prairie province of Manitoba, icy winters with five months of permafrost per year are followed by hot summers. Only about a million people inhabit this area that is approximately twice as large as Germany, and Winnipeg itself is one of the coldest cities in the world. This Messko customer provides these far-flung residents with power, which is generated primarily in hydroelectric and steam power plants as well as wind farms. Excess energy is sent to the US via high-voltage long-distance lines.

As part of a retrofitting program, the energy provider equips numerous HVDC transmission transformers with MESSKO® DB200D dehydrating breathers. Using special flanges, the MESSKO® MTraB®-"S-class" connects to any type of transformer. The built-in filter heating systems, which complement the existing silica gel heating system, automatically power up whenever the temperature falls rapidly. These systems prevent condensation from freezing at the transformer outlet and guarantee the continuous exchange of heated inside air with cold outside air. Both of these processes ensure fault-free operation of the transformer stations. The result is a lighthouse project for the Canadian market that has people far outside of Manitoba talking.

TECHNOLOGY: MESSKO® MTraB® Much of the time, conventional dehydrating breathers filled with common silica gel or similar desiccants are still used in transformers, on-load tap-changers and industrial processes. Depending on the application, their absorption power is typically exhausted within three to twelve months. Required periodic visual inspections and the regular replacement of used desiccants increase costs considerably.

The maintenance-free MTraB® dehydrating breather from MESSKO® provides the perfect solution to this problem. The silica gel in its drying chamber is dehydrated by an integrated heating element using sensor control. This minimizes visual checks and eliminates regular, costly desiccant replacement.

Since its market launch, the MTraB® dehydrating breather has been helping MESSKO® customers the world over to substantially reduce the life cycle costs of their transformers. It has set standards in the market and continues to do so today.



Etschwerke Netz AG was among the first to recognize how valuable this is. The largest utility company in South Tyrol supplies 33 municipalities with power in the thousand-square-meter basin of the megaregion Bolzano, Laives and Merano – 140,000 customers draw one billion kilowatt hours per year. In the transformer stations in Bolzano and Naturns, Etschwerke uses six transformers from various manufacturers in a voltage range of 220/66 kV.

To be able to monitor the transformers continuously and reliably based on data evaluated in detail, Etschwerke equipped them with ISM® and consolidated the data in the MR fleet monitoring system. ISM® is a field device which provides the defined data for each transformer. At Etschwerke Netz AG, the ISM® components were either fitted directly into the motor-drive unit, attached to the transformer in a separate housing or installed – decoupled from the transformer – in a control cabinet in the control room. In the new TAPMOTION® ED ISM® motor-drive unit, the intelligence is integrated ex works as standard.

Since then, ISM® has collected all data crucial for operation regarding effective, apparent and reactive power, gas-in-oil, moisture in oil, load current and load voltage, oil level and ambient temperature, tap-changer position and contact wear. Using an IEC transmission protocol, the data reaches a control center where TESSA® makes it visible in bundled form. "Prevention is crucial for us," says project supervisor Stefano Springhetti. "We want to be able to respond before alarms go off or damage occurs. To do this, we require all relevant information processed by intelligent software."

The software provides the asset manager with reliable results and recommended actions. This means lower maintenance costs, minimized risks and disruptions and simple and centralized service and resource scheduling. Various depictions in the TESSA® fleet monitoring system permit a quick check or a detailed review of individual equipment or the entire fleet, as required.

The analysis so far: implementation has progressed smoothly; handling and efficiency are convincing. One reason that the parties responsible at Etschwerke Netz AG have already started working on the expansion of the system.

TECHNOLOGY: TAPMOTION® ED ISM® AND TESSA® As a cost-effective and practice-oriented solution, the new intelligent TAPMOTION® ED ISM® tap-changer motor-drive unit makes asset management and operations management significantly easier. Its Integrated Smart Module ISM® completely monitors individual transformers and serves as a base for MR's innovative TESSA® fleet monitoring system.

All TAPMOTION® ED motor-drive units previously supplied by MR can be retrofitted easily and cost effectively with ISM® as a retrofit module. Of course, there is also the option to add ISM as an individual solution independent of the drive.

TESSA® relies on communication channels that are already in place, such as data lines or existing control systems. Visualization occurs via an integrated web server with ISM® interface without the user needing to install supplementary software packages.



For us, knowledge transfer is much more than a catchword, it is lived reality. Our apprentices, who are provided with the most exceptional technical support, know this just as well as employees affiliated with MR who continue to train and qualify themselves over many years. This can also be confirmed by the more than 14,000 participants from 170 countries who, since 1976, have learned more about on-load tap-changers and the related technology in the course of individually compiled training programs in Regensburg or at the other MR training centers worldwide, whether in German, English, French, Italian or Portuguese, and always with didactically experienced trainers at their side, who take time and thoroughly address questions.

The Regensburg training center occupies 700 square meters. This includes six training rooms, spacious work rooms, an area with control and monitoring systems, as well as a platform for practical work with on-load tap-changers. In addition to 115 tap changers in models from the last 65 years, in some cases equipped with motor-drive units, there are also 42 functioning models, 9 monitoring systems, 23 training models for automation and control and many MESSKO® products.

In the training center, participants are introduced to seven trainers who, taken together, have a total of 125 years of field experience as service technicians. They convey everything worth knowing about tap changers and their functions, in theory and practice, to transformer manufacturers. Operators of transformers can focus their training on the function and maintenance of tap changers and on monitoring.


Regensburg, Germany
Phone: +49 941 4090-7755
Fax: +49 941 4090-7701

Johannesburg, South Africa
Phone: +27 11 8352077
Fax: +27 11 8353806

São Paulo, Brazil
Phone: +55 11 4785-2150
Fax: +55 11 4785-2185

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Phone: +60 3 2142-6481
Fax: +60 3 2142-6422

Suzhou, China
Phone: +86 21 61634588

Quebec, Canada
Phone: +1 514 3705377

Kingsgrove, Australia
Phone: +61 2 95022202

Demand for energy in India is growing just as fast as the country's population and industrial infrastructure. In the search for a cheap and environmentally-friendly solution to this problem, Power Grid Corporation of India is bundling the transmission of hydroelectric power in a state-of-the-art new ultra-high DC voltage transmission cable. The North-East Agra Line minimizes transmission losses, increasing efficiency and setting new standards in terms of capacity. It transports power more than 1,700 kilometers from sparsely populated regions near the borders with Bangladesh and Nepal to the conurbation of Delhi. Over 90 million people in the city are to be supplied with environmentally-friendly power.

The ultra-high DC voltage transmission cable has a voltage of 800 kilovolts and at 8,000 megawatts has the largest transmission capacity and the largest direct current carrying capacity ever produced. Two converter stations at its source convert the electrical energy from AC to DC and a station installed at its destination transforms it back again. The challenge for Reinhausen Power Composites was to get a special version of its ReCoTec insulators, tailored exactly to the project-specific circumstances, ready for volume production in a very short time scale. The final product is being used in the transformer stations together with a new generation of reactors built by Trench Austria.

RPC produced an innovative solution: Just four gas-filled insulators, almost eleven meters in length, support the reactors anchored on them. This construction is so stable that it can withstand any kind of environmental conditions and even earthquakes with minimal effort. The hydrophobic, self-cleaning surface of the insulators permanently and reliably protects against complications resulting from environmental influences. RPC is providing 40 of these maintenance-free hollow composite insulators for the North-East Agra Line – a technical milestone in the champions league of high DC voltage transmission.


MR manufactures silicone-coated hollow composite insulators, based on its ROTAFIL® tubes, under the brand name ReCoTec® (Reinhausen Composite Technology). When compared with conventional porcelain insulators, these offer many advantages: They are significantly lighter, resistant to destruction and earthquakes, and demonstrate proven, superlative properties even in heavily contaminated surroundings. Should they fail or be damaged, they are explosion-resistant and do not release any dangerous parts. Innovations, such as conical ReCoTec® insulators, ReCoTec® with integrated fiber-optic cables, and ReCoTec® with flanges made of FRP material, help MR customers expand and secure their market leadership.


28 on-load tap-changers with vacuum technology were fitted in the HVDC transformers—in fact, they were MR's own VACUTAP® VR® tap changers. Each of these HVDC transformers weighs approximately 300 tons and has a price in the tens of millions. At almost the same time, 56 VACUTAP® VR® were supplied for the HVDC project undertaken by China Southern Power Grid (CSG). This underscores the reliability and high acceptance of MR products; this is the high end of energy transmission. VACUTAP® on-load tap-changers have proven themselves time and again in numerous other HVDC projects around the world.

In situations in which a great deal of power must be transported over long distances, high-voltage direct-current transmission (HVDC) shows its many benefits. Since the construction of these types of facilities costs so much money, manufacturers and operators place their trust in the most cost-effective and reliable components possible. This is especially true for on-load tap-changers, the centerpieces of HVDC transformers, which operate in giant converter stations.

The two large-scale, ±800 kV HVDC projects of the Chinese energy providers Southern Power Grid and State Grid Corporation provide a safe, economical power supply. The power supply covers distances of 1500 to 2000 km from the power plant to consumers, with a transmission capacity of 5000 to 7200 megawatts.

MR's technology and expertise are highly valued by China's largest energy providers and also by the Power Grid Corporation of India, which has fitted VACUTAP® VR® units in their transformers for a 1,365 kilometer HVDC cable with a capacity of 3,000 megawatts. The power generated by thermal power plants in the Indian region of Chhattisgarh is transported to centers of consumption in the north over a HVDC cable. The MR on-load tap-changers are precisely matched to the design and extreme conditions of HVDC transformers, decreasing their construction, transport and operating costs significantly. These special on-load tap-changers will make it possible in the future to build HVDC systems that operate with a transmission capacity of 10 GW or 12 GW and an operating voltage of ± 1100 kV DC. This means that operators of today are ideally equipped for the developments of tomorrow.


The VACUTAP® VR® is the world's first tap changer to attain up to 300,000 tap-change operations of maintenance-free performance. The VR I HD is even generally maintenance-free for up to 600,000 tap-change operations. Since maintenance is not time-dependent, the availability of the transformer also increases. The VACUTAP® VR® is the first choice for HVDC transformers, auto transformers and many other applications.




Inadequate infrastructure and strong fluctuations in demand, high cost pressure and a highly competitive market: Under these difficult circumstances, energy suppliers are faced with the challenge of providing adequate power to the metropolitan areas and remote regions of Argentina.

To this end, Argentinian transformer manufacturer Tadeo Czerweny has developed a mobile transformer station - the Subestación Transformadora Móvil (SETM) - for Edesur, one of the largest electric companies in South America. With a voltage of 132 kV, the transformer produces an output of 35 MVA. Inside the transformer, a VACUTAP® VRC III with an ED 100S motor-drive unit from MR ensures constant voltage conditions. Riding piggyback on a semitrailer, the mobile stations are transported to places where demand peaks have to be covered or there are no local transformer stations. There, they act as emergency energy service providers.

An additional advantage: In spite of their impressive dimensions – up to 20 meters long, four meters high, and almost as wide, and with a maximum weight just over 20 tons, the SETMs are permitted to travel along all of the country's tarmac roads without the special permit and escort vehicles required for similar heavy trucks. The SETMs travel at speeds of up to 50 kilometers per hour. They are ready to use about three to four hours after arriving at their destination.

Each Subestación Transformadora Móvil consists of medium-voltage, high-voltage, and power voltage modules, which all can operate autonomously to some extent. In addition to being used as a conventional transformer station in which the modules run together, each SETM unit can also be operated independently. As well as the transformer, the power voltage module also features a fire protection system and an oil cooling system, as well as measuring instruments, protective devices, and a lighting system.


The VACUTAP® VR® is the world's first tap changer to attain up to 300,000 tap-change operations of maintenance-free performance. The VR I HD is even generally maintenance-free for up to 600,000 tap-change operations. Since maintenance is not time-dependent, the availability of the transformer also increases. Furthermore, MR customers benefit from the diverse application options of the VACUTAP® VR®: It is the first choice for auto transformers, high-voltage direct current transmission transformers, and many other applications.





When people look around the Aluminium Norf plant, one word comes to mind immediately: "enormous!“. The company grounds are as large as 60 soccer fields, 285,000 square meters of which is covered by buildings. 2,200 people work here.

Men in protective suits heat ovens in which up to 120,000 kilograms of melted aluminum simmer at 700 degrees. Customers from around the world manufacture high-quality goods from the hot and cold-rolled bands made of different alloys: Cans and all types of packaging material, chassis or structural parts for the automotive industry, components for ship construction, facade and ceiling trim for houses, offset printing plates for daily newspapers, and much more.

In order to create magnetic fields in power transformers and motors, Alunorf uses power that is not consumed, but rather flows back into the power supply with a delay. Since this reactive power must be paid for and also shortens the service life of equipment, MR recommended and programmed a POCOS-S reactive power compensation system. The result: reduced costs, minimized transmission loss, and less wear on the transformers and cables in the plant.

MR optimized voltage quality in the plant with a 30-kV filter circuit system: where before the harmonic currents caused by the roller mills threatened to have negative effects – even on the power supply of the energy supplier – the filter system now ensures optimum current distribution and increased production reliability. Thanks to this customer-tailored 30-kV filter circuit system, the effectiveness of which was proven with extensive measurements after commissioning, Alunorf is now well equipped for the planned expansion of its capacities.

TECHNOLOGY: Compensation systems from Power Quality Management® (GRIDCON® POCOM® - POCOS® - POCOL®)

Power Quality® develops compensation systems for various voltage solutions, and in doing so conforms to the individual needs of its customers. The "no worries" package for MR customers includes system sizing, manufacturing, and delivery, as well as installation, and commissioning – all from a single source.
Thanks to a modular cabinet design, maximum functionality is ensured even in the smallest spaces.

Furthermore, compensation systems represent an investment with a long-term effect, which is reflected primarily in energy cost savings and the reduction of CO2 emissions.

Power Quality




For years, New York has depended on products with reliable technology from Reinhausen. This is also true of the 575-MVA phase shifter transformer, which first went into operation in a 345 kV substation in the summer of 2013. Three very tall OILTAP® G tap changers with a TAPMOTION® ED 200 LT motor-drive unit and TAPGUARD® 260 monitoring system operate in this phase shifter transformer (PST).

19 meters long and seven meters wide, with a weight of 740 tons, the transformer runs in quiet mode, even at full output. With its compact and complex design, the transformer conforms to strict New York regulations regarding the permitted noise level and also meets all other technical limit values.

The impressive regulating range of the phase angle of +/- 40 degrees is made possible by the world-record holding OILTAP® G series – these are the largest, highest-performance on-load tap-changers ever made for an individual transformer. Made by MR.


Maschinenfabrik Reinhausen produces OILTAP® G on-load tap-changers individually to order. During development of the phase shifter transformer, MR and ABB Bad Honnef worked closely together to ensure that all customer technical requirements were met.

For the first time since the 1970s, three OILTAP® G units were to be installed in a single transformer in this project; for this and other reasons, many challenges had to be overcome during manufacturing and assembly and also in the testing phase.

For this purpose, MR built a special testing stand made of wood for testing the 3 large on-load tap-changers together with the TAPMOTION® ED 200 LT motor-drive unit and the TAPGUARD® 260 monitoring system. The tap changers were delivered just nine months after the order was placed. Subsequently, a MR team supported technicians from ABB in Bad Honnef during commissioning, testing, and installation.





In cases where substation operators must feed current into the power supply in accordance with strict environmental and safety requirements, transformers with plant-based insulation fluids offer a cutting-edge alternative. The reason: In contrast to conventional mineral oil, alternative insulation fluids are completely biodegradable and less flammable. Therefore, energy providers and industry are advancing this new technology together.

In February 2014, TransnetBW began test operation of the world's largest transformer with plant-based insulating oil at the new Bruchsal substation. Built by Siemens and equipped with an on-load tap-changer from Maschinenfabrik Reinhausen, it sets the bar for the protection of people and of the environment.

The output of the transformer is 300 megavolt amperes. It connects the 380,000 volt maximum voltage level with the 110,000 volt power supply of the lower-level distribution network operator, Netze BW, meaning that it is a significant component of a sustainable power supply infrastructure in Baden-Württemberg.


The VACUTAP® VR® series – which is suitable for plant-based insulation fluids – offers a genuine alternative to the on-load tap-changers from our comprehensive OILTAP® R/RM and M range – more than 13,000 of these tap changers are already in use.

Since tap changer applications with alternative fluids always require special attention, the operating conditions for the respective application must be coordinated between the transformer and tap-changer manufacturers. To this end, MR offers in-depth consulting services and ensures well-designed, safely operating switching applications.

With over 200 tap changer installations worldwide using alternative liquids, including special applications such as traction transformers, test-field transformers, transformers for off-shore wind parks and desert mining facilities, MR has an unique range of experience to draw from. For first-time applications, MR service teams also supervise the commissioning of the tap changer and monitor initial operation, if requested.

Flyer: Alternative Liquids For Tap Changers.




A few days later in Tanzania's capital, the port city of Dar es Salaam: All tools are stowed away and the many spare parts are safely packed. The schedule and logistics for the multi-week operation are in place. The truck is also equipped for the most important measurements on transformers: Whether dealing with resistance or transmission, tools are available to allow the service specialists from Reinhausen South Africa to run the necessary tests.

Dozens of on-load tap-changers, usually of the OILTAP® M type, located in 16 substations all across the vast country - tested by our experts. Since arcs produced by tap-change operations lead to contact wear and soot deposits in the oil and mechanical components such as energy accumulator springs wear out during operation, these tap changers require regular maintenance. The team replaces components where necessary, hand-in-hand with other necessary update work.

The journey begins. From one substation to the next, the team works its way northwest, where the regional capital of Arusha lies at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro. Good planning coordinated with the customer TANESCO pays off: extra oil is available at each substation – this ensures that the required dielectric strength is met.

After a few days off around Christmas and New Year, the team departs Arusha to head for the last stations. On February 19, their work is complete. By the time the Reinhausen truck arrives back in South Africa, there are almost 6,000 more kilometers on the tachometer. There, the team and truck enjoy a well-deserved break before the next operation.


The company that builds the best tap changers in the world can only offer one class of service: the best. This is evidenced not only by our unconditional willingness to provide service around the world, but also by our "Premium Service Provider" quality seal. This also includes regular training sessions, theoretical and practical testing, and thousands of service calls each year. Regardless of the continent, we guarantee uniform quality and service using the latest technology.

Asset Management



Trade Fair Calendar
08/06/2015 11/06/2015 desktopdefault.aspx/tabid-11/1113_read-403/date-380/ ELEKTRO 2015 PQ
10/06/2015 11/06/2015 desktopdefault.aspx/tabid-11/1113_read-404/date-381/ REN - Metodedager 2015 A&C, Messko
15/06/2015 18/06/2015 desktopdefault.aspx/tabid-11/1113_read-405/date-382/ CIRED 2015 A&C, PQ