A conventional stone single-family house weighs a good 100 tons, a prefabricated house around half.

You have to keep that in mind in order to classify the dimensions of the transformer, which is transported through Frankfurt on Thursday night: It weighs 405 tons - that's the weight of four single-family houses or optionally 100 elephants or three full-grown blue whales .

The heavy load transporting the transformer from Fechenheim to the substation at Berger Warte measures 43.5 meters, which is as long as ten average cars in a row.

Matthias Trautsch

Coordination of the Rhine-Main report.

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The colossus was manufactured by General Electric in Mönchengladbach on behalf of the power grid operator Tennet. From there he went by train to the Hanauer Landstrasse marshalling yard in Frankfurt-Fechenheim. Actually, it should have been transported to its destination in the night from Tuesday to Wednesday, but when moving it from rail to road there were problems with the hydraulics. Now the journey should start on Wednesday evening at 10 p.m. From Hanauer Landstrasse, accompanied by the police, it goes through the industrial areas of Fechenheim and Enkheim via Vilbeler Landstrasse and Bergen to Berger Warte, where the “Am Galgen” substation is located on the hill.

As the police and Tennet report, the oncoming lane must also be used for maneuvers on the route.

Arrival is scheduled for 6 a.m. on Thursday morning.

However, there may well be delays and thus traffic obstructions in the morning rush hour, especially on the federal road 521 to Bad Vilbel, around the Berger Warte and in the urban area of ​​Bergen-Enkheim.

Impairments are also possible in local public transport.

Substations are like motorway exits

The background to the transport is a comprehensive modernization of the Frankfurt electricity distributor, which has become necessary, among other things, as a result of the switch to renewable energies and green electricity. The infrastructure continues to gain in importance. Tennet announced that the increasing demand for electricity in households, industry and data centers had to be met. And future-proof systems are required to transport the “green electricity” from northern Hesse and the coastal areas in northern Germany to the Rhine-Main region.

The substations link the Tennet's 220,000 volt level with the 110,000 volt network of the local operators, through whose lines the electricity then reaches the consumers. You can imagine the whole thing like motorway exits that lead from the electricity highway to the federal highways of the distribution network operators. The heart of the substation are the transformers, which bring the electricity to the lower voltage level. If necessary, the devices can also work in the opposite direction in order to transport locally generated green electricity.

The transformer stations in and around large cities represent a particular challenge in the nationwide renovation and expansion of the high-voltage networks and distributors. In order to ensure the power supply of hundreds of thousands of households even during the work, the process can only be carried out in stages. Only a few weeks are available to shut down old transformers and set up new large devices. The operators have to plan well in advance and order the devices from the manufacturer on an annual basis and have them delivered.

The large device that has now been delivered is one of four new transformers that are required for the modernization of the "Frankfurt-Nord" substation.

Each of these grid coupling transformers, each with an output of 300 megavolt amperes, can mathematically transform electricity for around 400,000 households.

Tennet is investing a total of around 45 million euros in the site.

The conversion of the 220/110 kilovolt system, which was built in the sixties and seventies, should be completed by 2025.