Doble Releases 115th Transformer Oil Survey
While it may be an afterthought to some, oil plays a critical part in the safety and operation of a transformer. It’s one of the two main components of the insulation system of the asset and serves as an important medium for heat dissipation. Transformer oils must be chosen carefully and monitored consistently as poor quality or faulty application can result in multiple issues some of which can result in failure if not monitored consistently.
Oil testing is one of the most important and accurate means to determine and preserve the health of transformers in service. Through testing, issues due to electrical, thermal, and chemical stresses over time can be detected at an early stage and managed with further monitoring to identify and prevent serious overheating, deterioration of the solid insulation, discharge activity, corrosion or other conditions that might end in failure.
Oil tests can also be used to detect the deterioration of the insulating oil itself that can lead to the formation of sludge and other oxidation by-products that can undermine the effectiveness of the insulation system.
Ensuring at the outset that these oils meet certain characteristics through standards—such as Doble’s Transformer Oil Purchase Specification (TOPS)—and providing utilities with up-to-date insights on these characteristics is vital.
The Only Comprehensive Consumer Report of Oil Testing
This is why Doble’s Insulating Materials Laboratories conduct an evaluation of commercially available insulating oils every year. Issued since 1953, the report compares current data with historical reports to evaluate product consistency and assess whether the oils meet specification and are suitable for use in electrical apparatus.
As an independent evaluator, Doble’s Annual Survey acts as an unbiased assessment to provide users with a one-of-a-kind, accurate and in-depth evaluation of currently available electrical mineral insulating oils that highlights issues and improvements as well as emerging trends.
This year’s report, which surveyed 64 electrical insulating mineral oils over the course of 2022, includes samples of 16 North American oils from seven refiners, three South American oils from two refiners, 13 European oils from three refiners, and 32 oils from eight Asian refiners. All oils were tested in accordance with TOPS which comprises 30 tests to evaluate the electrical, chemical, and physical characteristics of the fluid and further, examines composition and additives. The report provides information from the refiners on their products, and a thorough analysis of the data in respect to specifications and historical trending. TOPS includes the measuring of stray gassing, which provides the end user with critical information to help distinguish nuisance gassing from problem gassing in an in-service electrical asset.
Helping You Make Informed Decisions for Your Assets
The information from the report can help you choose the right insulating oil for your needs, find out what oils are available, determine whether the oil you’re purchasing meets specifications and evaluate the consistency of the product from year to year.
The survey, while previously only available to a select client group, is now available to all Doble DSA and DSEA clients as part of their contracts. To access the full report, simply log into MyDoble to access.
If you are not a Doble client but interested in receiving a copy or sending a new sample for next year’s survey, please contact your local Doble Representative.
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