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Michigan State UniversityMichigan State UniversityInfrastructure Planning and Facilities
The 120-ton crane used to move the transformer onto the semi-truck.

The 120-ton crane used to move the transformer onto the semi-truck.

Transformers removed from campus more than 50-years-old


June 9, 2016

Two 51-year-old transformers were removed from MSU’s north campus on May 25. The transformers were installed in 1965 to support the first stage of the T.B. Simon Power Plant.

Transformers are electrical devices that convert alternating current (AC) of a certain voltage to an AC of a different voltage without changing the frequency. For many years the transformers converted volts of electricity to power north campus. As the power requirements for campus increased, the transformers were no longer necessary, with the T.B. Simon Power Plant now providing campus with the 13,200 volts necessary for operations. The last buildings on campus converted to the T.B. Simon Power Plant operations were the Music Practice and IM Circle buildings, which took place during 2015.

“It was a huge project to move these transformers,” said Daniel Hanses, planner/inspector/analyst II.

In preparation for the removal, oil that was contained within each transformer was drained and sent to Texas for proper disposal. The oil had been used to cool the transformers while they were in use. Buried 25 feet underground, a 120-ton crane was required to lift the 56,000-pound transformers. A forklift was then lowered down by the crane to lift the transformers up to be transferred to a semi-truck and transported to Alabama to recycle the metal.