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Moradabad Using Water to Cool Transformers in Heatwave: Is It Safe

In response to a severe heatwave, Uttar Pradesh's electricity department used water sprinkling on transformers to prevent overheating and ensure uninterrupted power supply, successfully lowering transformer temperatures from 70°C to 50°C

By Ground report
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Moradabad Using Water to Cool Transformers in Heatwave: Is It Safe

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During the severe heatwave in Uttar Pradesh, with temperatures exceeding 43°C, the state's electricity department has resorted to an unusual method to prevent transformer overheating and ensure uninterrupted power supply.

In Moradabad, workers sprinkled water on electricity transformers to alleviate overheating caused by the scorching heat. According to a local Junior Engineer, the temperature of transformers should not exceed 60-70°C, and this cooling technique aims to bring it down to around 50°C.


"We had to keep the temperature below a limit. The transformers' heat is cooled by pouring water on them. We got orders from the superiors, and the cooler we keep them, the better the electricity flow," the engineer explained.

Uttar Pradesh is facing a severe heatwave, with temperatures in cities like Lucknow soaring from around 35°C in April to consistently over 40°C in May. The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has warned of severe heatwaves from western to some eastern regions.

Is sprinkling water on transformers safe, and what does the data say?


  • Heatwave Impact: The extreme heatwave poses challenges for maintaining the optimal operating temperature of transformers.

  • Transformer Overheating: Transformers play a crucial role in power distribution, but excessive heat can lead to malfunction or even fires.

  • The Solution: To combat overheating, the Paschimanchal Vidyut Vitran Nigam Limited (PVVNL) in Moradabad has turned to water sprinkling.


  • Cold Water Bath: The PVVNL is pouring cold water directly onto the transformers to bring down their temperature.

  • Temperature Control: According to a local Junior Engineer, the goal is to keep the transformer temperature below 60-70 degrees Celsius. By implementing this method, they have successfully reduced the temperature to 50 degrees Celsius.

Is It Safe?

  • Transformer Fires: While transformer fires are rare, their impact can be significant. A fire can destroy a transformer almost immediately.

  • Risk Factors: Excessive overheating, severe short circuits, oil faults, and lightning strokes are potential risk factors for transformer fires.

  • Cooling Measures: Various cooling methods exist, including air natural (AN) cooling, forced air circulation (AF) cooling, and oil cooling.

  • Water Sprinkling: Water sprinkling is an unconventional approach. Let's examine its safety:

Safety Considerations

  1. Effectiveness: Water sprinkling can help dissipate heat and prevent overheating.

  2. Risk Assessment: The PVVNL likely evaluated the risks and benefits before implementing this method.

  3. Transformer Design: Modern transformers are designed with safety features, including insulation and cooling systems.

  4. Monitoring: Regular monitoring ensures that the temperature remains within safe limits.

23% increase in demand of transformers 

The scorching heat has led to a surge in power demand, with the Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (DHBVN) reporting a 23% increase in demand over the past three weeks. This surge is due to the increased use of air conditioners and water coolers as residents seek relief.

The spike in demand has strained the state's power infrastructure, leading to more complaints of power cuts and disruptions. Technical faults, like overloaded lines, overheated transformers or substations, and breakdowns due to weather conditions, have compounded the problem.

Residents in densely populated areas like Dabua Colony, Jawahar Colony, Sanjay Colony, parts of NIT, Ballabhgarh, and Greater Faridabad have been hit hard by power disruptions lasting two to six hours.

"We had no power for around seven hours from 5 pm to midnight on Monday."

The electricity department claims no official cuts or supply shortage, and that all complaints are attended to promptly. The situation highlights the urgent need for infrastructure upgrades and timely maintenance to cope with increasing demand during extreme weather events.

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