65! NEVER RESTED. NOT RUSTED.
On-load tap-changers from MR have legendary longevity. We wanted to find the age and location of the oldest tap changer still in use. So last year we asked customers all around the world to help us in our hunt, and the result was something of a surprise – we found it not far from our company headquarters. And the winner is …
Cut back to 1950: Konrad Adenauer was the German Chancellor. Frenchmen Maurice Herzog and Louis Lachenal were the first to climb an 8,000 m mountain, Annapurna in the Himalayas. In the USA, the famous propeller-driven, four-engined Lockheed Super Constellation completed its maiden flight. And MR in Regensburg was supplying its OILTAP® DIII range of tap changers. Today – over 65 years later – having been maintained regularly, one of them is still working perfectly just a hundred kilometers away in the Uniper oil-fired power station near Ingolstadt. That's a world record.
In 1925, when Dr. Bernhard Jansen patented the mechanism he had invented for continuously controlling electric voltage under load, this was the start of a new era – in energy technology and the history of MR.
Since then, MR has been setting standards in the development and maintenance of measurement and control technology. This is demonstrated by the fact that 80 percent of the 250,000 on-load tap-changers sold over the decades are still in use today.
MR recently obtained some impressive examples of the extreme longevity of its products in a customer survey. Around 10,000 customers the world over were asked to help find the oldest MR tap changers still working today. Responses and evidence in the form of photos, certificates, and name plates flooded in from Africa, Asia, Australia, North and South America, and Europe. Some highlights:
- OILTAP® DIII, constructed 1950, used in the Uniper oil-fired power plant in Ingolstadt
Our champion – no MR tap changer still in operation today can rival its age. The Uniper power plant is hugely important as a standby plant for Germany's power supply: It helps to maintain voltage and generate reactive power. In times of extreme cold or if major power plants fail, it acts as an "emergency service in the transmission grid" to close the supply gaps. The two generating units each have an output of 386 MW and the plant's five large transformers are checked on a regular basis.
- OILTAP® DIII, constructed 1954, used by the Jansen group of power plants in Pfreimd
The Jansen group of power plants in Upper Palatinate was constructed and started up following plans produced by MR's founder Dr. Bernhard Jansen between 1951 and 1961. It is one of the most important pump storage power plants in Germany, supplying valuable control energy. The MR on-load tap-changer is installed in one of the two grid transformers of the pump storage plant. In September 2015 the tap changer was analyzed by MR using the TAPSCAN® VAM procedure: After 61 years, it is still working as reliably as on day one.
Made for generations: Tap changers from MR