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Transformer Cooling Methods

Losses in the transformer are of the order of 1% of its full load kW rating. These losses
get converted in the heat thereby the temperature of the windings, core, oil and the tank
rises. The heat is dissipated from the transformer tank and the radiator in to the
atmosphere. Transformer cooling helps in maintaining the temperature rise of various
parts within permissible limits. In case of Transformer, Cooling is provided by the
circulation of the oil. Transformer Oil acts as both insulating material and also cooling
medium in the transformer. For small rating transformers heat is removed from the
transformer by natural thermal convection. For large rating transformers this type of
cooling is not sufficient, for such applications forced cooling is used.
As size and rating of the transformer increases, the losses increase at a faster rate. So
oil is circulated in the transformer by means of oil pumps. Within the tank the oil is made
to flow through the space between the coils of the windings.
Several different combination of natural, forced, air, oil transformer cooling methods are
available. The choice of picking the right type of transformer cooling method for particular
appilcatiion depends on the factors such as rating, size, and location.
Transformer Cooling Methods
Different Transformer Cooling methods are:
Air Cooling For Dry Type Transformers:
 Air natural Type (A.N.)
 Air Forced type (A.F.)
Cooling For Oil Immersed Transformers:
 Oil Natural Air Natural Type (O.N.A.N.)
 Oil Natural Air Forced Type (O.N.A.F.)
 Oil Forced Air Natural Type (O.F.A.N.)
 Oil Forced Air Forced Type (O.F.A.F.)
Oil immersed Water Cooling:
 Oil Natural Water Forced (O.N.W.F.)
 Oil Forced Water Forced (O.F.W.F.)
Air Natural Transformer Cooling:
This type of Transformer Cooling method applies to dry type transformer of small rating.
The surrounding air in the vicinity of the transformer is used for cooling. Small
transformers below 25kVA can be readily cooled by air natural cooling. However air
natural cooling is also used for large dry type transformers. Cooling takes place by
convection air currents.
Air Forced Transformer Cooling:
This type of cooling is provided for dry type transformers. The air is forced on to the tank
surface to increase the rate of heat dissipation. The fans are switched on when the
temperature of the winding increases above permissible level.
Oil Natural Air Natural Transformer Cooling:
This type of Transformer cooling is widely used for oil filled transformers up to about
30MVA. In Natural cooling, the oil in the tans gets heated due to the heat generated in
the core and windings. The hot Oil flows upward and the cold Oil comes down according
to the principle of convection. The oil flows in the transformer tank by the principle of
natural convection hence this type of cooling is called Oil Natural Cooling. Heat is
transferred from core and transformer windings to the oil and the heated oil is cooled by
the natural air. Cooling area is increased by providing the cooling tubes


Transformer is a static device that converts one voltage level to
another voltage level. Due to occurrence of iron and copper
losses, the transformer gets heated. In order to avoid
deterioration of insulation, dissipation of heat is required to keep
the temperature of the winding within a limited value. Since
transformer is a static device, its cooling is more difficult than
that of a rotating machine. Rotating machine creates a turbulent
air flow, which helps in removing the heat generated due to
losses. The losses in a transformer are comparatively small. The
coolants used in transformer are: (i) air and (ii) oil.
The dry-type transformer uses air as coolant, whereas oil-
immersed transformer uses oil as cool-ant. The heat produced in
dry-type transformers is conducted across the core and windings.
Finally, the heat dissipates from the outer surfaces of the
windings to the surrounding air through convection. The heat
generated inside the core and windings of an oil-immersed
transformer is conducted across them to their surfaces. This heat
produced is transferred by the oil to the walls of the tank
The cooling methods used in transformers up to 25 kVA size
and of dry type are discussed below:
 Natural air: Ambient air is used as the cooling medium in
this method, and the natural circulation of surrounding air
is used to carry away the generated heat by natural
 Air blast: Natural circulation of air used in cooling becomes
insufficient for dissipation of heat from large transformers.
Therefore, circulation of air (air blast) is used to keep the
temperature rise within prescribed limits. A continuous
blast of cool air is forced through the cores and the
windings to cool the transformer in this method. External
fans are used to produce air blast shown in Figure 1 (a).
Generally most of the transformers are of oil-immersed types
because oil provides better insulation than air due to its better
conduction heat. Mineral oil is used for this purpose. The
following cooling methods are used for oil-immersed
 Oil-immersed self-cooled transformers: The transformer is
immersed in oil. The heat generated in cores and windings
is passed to the oil by conduction. Therefore, oil in contact
with the heated parts rises and cool oil takes its place. The
heat is transferred to the tank walls by natural oils.

Figure 1 Air Blast and Oil-immersed Self-cooled Transformer

Figure 2 Air Blast Cooling for High-capacity Transformers
Finally, ambient air takes this heat. To increase the
heat dissipating capacity, corrugations, fins, tubes (shown
in Figure 2) and radiators are to be provided in Figure 1.
(b). In oil natural cool-ing, there is no chance to clog the
ducts and hence windings are free from the effects of
 Oil-immersed forced air-cooled transformers: In this
method, air is directed over the outer surfaces of the tank
of the transformer immersed in oil.
 Oil-immersed water-cooled transformers: In this type of
cooling, water is pumped through a metallic coil immersed
in the oil just below the top of the tank to extract heat from
the oil. The heated water is cooled in a spray pond or a
cooling tower.
 Oil-immersed forced oil-cooled transformers: To extract
heat from the oil, oil itself is pumped upwards through the
winding. Then it is sent back by way of external radiators.
These radiators are cooled by fans. The extra cost of
pumping equipment should be justified economically. The
main advantage is the reduction in temperature difference
between the top and the bottom of the enclosing
tank. Figure 2 shows the schematic arrangement of air
blast cooling used for high-capacity transformers.

 there are mony type of cooling of t/r
 1- natural air cooling
 2- oil cooling
 3-water cooling
 4-blast air cooling