September marks the opening of The Leadenhall Building to visitors for the very first time. Referred to by many as the 'Cheesegrater’, the building is based in the heart of the City of London located right beside London’s ‘Walkie Talkie’. In 2012, Yorkshire based Winder Power, was contracted to be the exclusive transformer manufacturer and installer to power the land-mark building. Now, over two years later, Winder Power’s transformers will provide a substantial electricity supply to the ‘Cheesegrater’ in the form of two 10MVA transformers.
Winder Power commenced work on the project in April 2012, finishing the job in October that year. Due to the size and location of the transformers the project was not without its challenges. The units were to be housed in the basement of the Leadenhall building and, in order to secure safe passage and placement, Winder Power were required to manufacture specialised lifting equipment to lower the transformers through a restricted access, from ground level, into two housings in the lower basement.
It took several weeks to manufacture the specialist lifting equipment, which allowed engineers to lower the transformers, one by one. A number of shock recorders were fitted to each transformer to ensure that any impact or potential damage to the transformers during transport and installation was monitored and ultimately avoided. These transformers will ultimately supply electricity to Leadenhall’s 47 floors, 26 lifts and 610,000 square feet of office space - this equates to the electricity supply to several thousand homes.
Speaking about the project, Laurence MacKenzie, group managing director, Winder Power, said: ”As a company, it has been a hugely rewarding to be a part of the team that delivered this landmark project, now so prominent on London’s skyline. This is one of the most advanced forms of construction, and we are more than delighted that our ’made-in Britain’ transformers were selected to be a part of this.
A team of our experienced engineers, led by our executive director, Andy Pinkney, were on site for 1,500 man hours to ensure successful completion. Only one other building in the UK has required this type of transformer installation so the project has been quite novel and one we are very proud of.”