This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
The oil in transformer construction serves double purpose of cooling and insulating. For use in transformer tanks, oil has to fulfill certain specifications and must be carefully selected. All oils are good insulators, but animal oils are either too viscous or tend to form fatty acids, which attack fibrous materials (e.g. cotton) and so are unsuitable for transformers. Vegetable oils are apt to be inconsistent in quality and, like animal oils, which alone are suitable for electrical purposes, some have a bituminous and others a paraffin base. The crude oil, as tapped is distilled, producing a range of volatile spirits and oils ranging from the very light to the heavy, and ending with semi-solids like petroleum jelly, paraffin wax, or bitumen. The chemical composition of oil consists of four major generic class of organic compounds, namely, paraffins, napthelenes, aromatics and olefines. All these are hydrocarbons and hence insulating oil is called a pure hydrocarbon mineral oil. It is desirable to have more of saturated paraffins, less of aromatic and/or napthalenes and none of olefines. 11.1 Characteristics of Oil : Refer Table-11.1 for the characteristics of oil as per IS:335-1983 are listed below : Table-11.1 : S.No 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Characteristics Density at 27 C, max Kinematic viscosity at 27o C, max Interfacial tension at 27 C, min.
Limit / Requirement 0.89 g/cm3 27 cSt 0.04 N/m
Flash point, Pensky-Marten (closed), 140oC min. Pour point, max. Neutralization value (total acidity), maximum. Corrosive sulphur Electric strength (breakdown voltage) minimum. -9oC 0.03 mg KOH/g Non-corrosive
(a) As received (b) After filtration
30 kv (rms) 50 kv (rms)
Dielectric dissipation factor (Tan ) at 0.005 90oC, max. Specific resistance (resistivity), min. 30 x 1012 cm 500 x 1012 cm
(a) At 90oC (b) At 27oC
A flash point not more than 1600C is usually considered for safety reasons.40 mg KOH/g 0.1 Physical Properties : • Density . Electric strength is the basic parameter for insulation system design of a transformer.determines the rate of cooling.This has significance when transformer is operated in a very low temperature zone.10% by weight The oil shall not contain antioxidant additives 50 ppm by weight 11 11. The maximum value of density fixed at 270C ensures that water in the form of ice present in oil remains at the bottom and does not tend to float on the oil up to a temperature of about -100C.It is the voltage at which breakdown occurs between two electrodes when oil is subjected to an electric field under prescribed conditions. • • • • • • 11.This is the most sensitive property of oil requiring utmost care for its proper determination. Resistivity in -cm is numerically equivalent to the resistance between opposite faces of a Cm3 of the liquid. Interfacial Tension (IFT) . it will hinder the formation of convention currents and thus cooling of equipment will be severely affected.The amount of free and dissolved water present in the oil is its moisture content and is expressed in ppm. Resistivity (Specific resistance) . Viscosity . and varies with temperature. max.2 Electrical Properties : • Electric Strength (BDV) .It is the temperature at which oil will flow under the prescribed conditions.The temperature at which an oil will ignite and continue burning is about 25% above the flash point. Pour Point . If the oil becomes too viscous or solidifies. A high viscosity is an obvious disadvantage because of sluggish flow through small apertures which it entails. (b) Total sludge after oxidation. Flash Point . 0.1.The temperature at which the vapour above an oil surface ignites spontaneously is termed as flash point. Insulation • . Fire Point . 12 13 Presence of oxidation inhibitor Water content (as received).This is a measure of the molecular attractive force between oil and water molecules at their interface. max. or about 2000C.Oxidation stability : (a)Neutralization value after oxidation . Presence of moisture is harmful since it adversely affects the electrical characteristics of oil and accelerates deterioration of insulating paper. Moisture Content .1. max.
2 Samples from tank : When taking samples from the tank.3 Testing of Transformer Oil : . oxidation products. Touching the inside of a receptacle with a damp hand or wiping round with an apparently clean dry cloth may seriously reduce the breakdown strength of a sample of good oil. 11.1 Receptacles for samples : Receptacles for samples should preferably be bottles of clear glass with ground glass stoppers and of 1 litre capacity.The oil must not contain impurities such as sulphur and its compounds. It is expected that every sample passes the test. • Dielectric Dissipation Factor (DDF) . If the electrical test cannot be carried out immediately. Sample bottles should not be filled to the top. remove all dirt from the sampling valve of plug.3 Chemical Properties : • Purity . They shall be clean and dry. these bottles shall be hermetically sealed to prevent contamination of oil. Samples of oil from the transformer should be taken from the bottom of the tank as both water and water saturated oil are heavier than clean and dry oil and sink to the bottom of the container.resistance of windings of transformer is also dependent upon the resistivity of oil. allow some oil to flow into a separate receptacle before collecting sample for testing for its dielectric strength as per the latest edition of IS:6792.It is numerically equal to Sine of the loss angle (approximately equal to Tangent of loss angle for dielectrics) and is a good tool to indicate the quality of an insulation. 11. The sample bottles should be rinsed with oil. These in combination can attack and corrode iron and other metals.2. To ensure that the valve is clean. if the normal transit and storage precautions are taken.2. Acidity . but helps on out-breathing to absorb any moisture produced by the oxidation of oil. It is important to find out for new oil but not for oil in service and shows the presence of natural inhibitors which impart anti-oxidation characteristics to oil.It is the measure of neutralization value and sludge after oil is aged by simulating the actual service conditions of a transformer.Among the products of oxidation of transformer oil are CO2.2 Sampling : The condition of oil should be checked before use.1. The provision of breathers not only prevent the ingress of damp air. 11. A high value of DDF is an indication of the presence of contaminants or deterioration products such as water. volatile watersoluble organic acids. A low value indicates the presence of moisture and conductive contaminants. • • 11. 11. and water. metal soaps. as sulphur causes corrosion of metal parts and accelerates the formation of sludge. soluble varnishes and resins. Oxidation Stability .
etc.3 TESTS Break Down Voltage Test & Water Content.3 (Groups I & II) : S. Resistivity.There are nine number tests recommended in the code of practice for maintenance and supervision of mineral insulating oil in equipment (IS:1866 .5 KV 40 KV rms Recondition / Filter 1 . Interfacial Tension & Acidity Tests. Oxidation and oil decay products. Tan .1983). Dissolved Gas Analysis Interpretation Interpretation Interpretation Oil needs Filtration Oil needs Reclamation or Replacement Monitoring is necessary to find out the gravity of incipient fault. oil aging products. Group-III Note : Tests like Moisture.5 KV . etc. Table-11.No Test Electric strength (Break Down Voltage) (As per IS:6792) Equipment Voltage Permissible limits Action if outside permissible limit 145 KV and above 60 KV rms 72. Transformer needs attention during usual outages. Result of Filtration Result of Reclamation or Replacement. Rust.145 KV 50 KV rms Below 72. Group-II Transformer needs immediate attention. These tests can be further subdivided into three groups as shown in the following flow chart for the purpose of action if test results are outside permissible limits as mentioned in Table-11. Metallic cuttings. Filter dust. Flash point and Sedimentation are also required to further probe into deteriorated condition of the oil. Removal of Free Water. Dirt. Sludge. Group-I Removal of Acids.
4. 8 Interfacial tension at 270C All Voltages 0. However in reality the significance of the test is that it will only detect free water.5 KV Sediment and / or perceptible sludge. minimum value (1250C). Neutralization value (Total Acidity) All Voltages 145 KV and above 0. Dielectric dissipation factor (Tan ) at 900C.) Decrease in the flash point 150C (Max. availability of the equipment and the simplicity of the method.4 Significance of Various Routine Tests : The significance of various routine tests such as Break Down Voltage Test.1973) Below 72.) 0. Reclaim or Replace. 3 All Voltages 4 Specific resistance (Resistivity at 900C). 11.) of the initial value. 2 145 KV and above 15 ppm 20 ppm 25 ppm No Sediment and / or precipitable Recondition / Filter sludge should be detectable. Thus this test does not give true indication of the deteriorated condition of the oil.5 KV . The . Recondition / Filter 72.5 mg KOH/gm oil (Max. Acidity.145 KV (As per IS:2362 . Resistivity.1x1012 Cm (Min) Recondition / Filter if the Tan value permits.2 (Max. Di-electric Dissipation Factor (Tan ). reclaim or replace if not.018 N/m (Min.Water Content. Reclaim or Replace.1 Break Down Voltage (BDV) Test : Break Down Voltage is the voltage at which the oil breaks down when subjected to an AC electrical field with a continuously increasing voltage contained in a specific apparatus.) Reclaim or Replace. Interfacial Tension are described below. 5 6 7 Flash Point All Voltages Reclaim or Replace. dirt and conductive particles not acids or sludges. the BDV of an oil still ranks as the most common field and laboratory oil screen test. 11. Because of traditions. Test to find the Water Content. Note : Dissolved Gas Analysis (DGA) test is conducted to ascertain the healthiness of Transformer and not of the Oil. The electric strength is also affected by the presence of foreign particles.0 (Max. The voltage is expressed in KV.) Below 145 KV All Voltages 1. An oil which is significantly oxidised may show a high dielectric strength in the absence of moisture. such as cellulose fibres. which absorb moisture and orient themselves across point of stress and cause arcing. 0.
cellulosic fibres. Measurements of Tan . water. For any given oil there is generally a relationship between Tan and resistivity. This is numerically equal to the resistance between opposite faces of a centimeter cube of the liquid. such as the rust or other metallic cuttings.4 Dielectric Dissipation Factor (Tan ) Test : Dielectric Dissipation Factor is a Tangent of the angle by which the phase difference between applied voltage and resulting current deviates from /2 radian when the dielectric of the capacitor consists exclusively of the transformer oil.2 Water Content Test : Water content is expressed as parts per million (ppm) w/w in oil. [Polar substances are oil soluble compounds resulting from the oxidation of the oil itself. such as metal. It is therefore inadvisable to solely rely on the electrical strength of the oil by periodic tests without verifying its other characteristics. water and foreign contaminants results in a general overall reduction in the efficiency of the apparatus. An indication of the presence and effect of water content can be obtained from a resistivity comparison at 270C and 900C. Resistivity and to a lesser extent the interfacial tension of the oil enable contamination due to polar substances to be detected and periodically assessed. salts.4. 11. 11.3 Resistivity Test : It is the ratio of the DC potential gradient in volts per centimeter paralleling the current flow within the specimens to the current density in amperes per square centimeter at a given instant of time and under prescribed conditions. Its presence in oil is harmful as it lowers the electric strength and resistivity of the oil and accelerates the deterioration of the solid insulating materials.4. BDV can reveal conductive contaminants. aldehydes. particularly paper. A mineral oil of low water content is necessary to achieve adequate electrical strength to maximize the insulation system life and to minimize metal corrosion. Water may originate from the atmosphere or be produced by the deterioration of the insulating material. or . 11. acids or sludges. air and moisture. there is a reduction in resistivity. ketones and alcohols.4. The sample should be drawn quickly kept in a sealed container and tested within a matter of few hours. Resistivity of transformer oils monitors the amount of conductive contaminants. dirt. Water content and acidity influence the values of the specific resistance. Keeping in mind higher operating temperatures experience has shown that erroneous conclusions can be drawn if the oil is tested at a temperature in excess of 400C because of the phenomena of water solubility. Sample of BDV should be protected from contact with light. Normal methods of oil filtration only maintain the electric strength but do not improve the deteriorated oil. It is expressed in Cm.presence of oil deterioration particles. If the Tan increases. filter dust or free water but it will not pinpoint the presence of dissolved water below 80% saturation.
The characteristic changes fairly rapidly during the first stages of aging. It is expressed in terms of the number of milligrams of KOH required to neutralize the total free acids in one gram of the oil. This is most common method that measures the acidity in transformers.10 0. However since oil oxidation further increases oil's ability to dissolve moisture. How high acidity value can lead to sludge formation is demonstrated in the following Table-11. Changes in this characteristic can be monitored regularly.oil surface.5 : Acidity S.11 to 0.6 Interfacial Tension Test : It is a force necessary to detach a planar ring of platinum wire from the surface of the liquid of higher surface tension that is upward from the water .5 (Historical Database indicating relationship between Acidity and Sludge formation in Oil filled Transformers . An increase in neutralization number is an index to the rate of deterioration of the oil.60 0.4. The organic acids are detrimental to the insulation system and can induce rusting of iron when moisture is also present.00 to 0. When water is held in solution no appreciable effect on the oil's power nor dielectric strength may take place.11 Years test on 500 Transformers).from the solution in the oil of external contaminants or materials used in the construction of the equipment].4.4.61 and above Percent of 500 00 38 72 100 Units Sludged 00 190 360 500 11. Sludge will be the inevitable product of an acid situation that is neglected.3.20 0. some type of sludges have very little effect on the overall power factor. which is a measure of the contamination or deterioration. It is expressed in N/m or Dynes/Cm. Table-11. This test is very sensitive to the presence in oil of the soluble contaminants and aging products. Afterwards the rate of change decreases as the value themselves become lower.5 Acidity Test : It is the measure of the free organic and inorganic acids present together in the oil. Power factor has been a traditional field test.No 1 2 3 4 mg of KOH/gm of Oil 0. However this test measures the leakage current through the oil. 11. . A low acidity in oil is required to minimize electrical conduction and metal corrosion and to maximize the life of the insulation system.21 to 0. It does tell the presence of polar materials but other tests must be made to determine what polar compounds are present.
The old workhorse of transformer oil quality testing is the less the tension. acids and contaminants such and sludges.11 Years test on 500 Transformers).014 0. Table-11.6 (Historical Database indicating relationship between IFT and Sludge formation in Oil filled Transformers . Oil oxidation contaminants will lower the IFT even further. The greater the concentration of contaminants less the tension.050 N/m. IFT test measures the tension at the interface between two immissible liquids oil and water and is expressed in N/m. At the interface the hydrophilic materials extend across to the water so that a vertical linkage is established and thus the lateral linkage [Which makes up the surface tension] is weakened.018 N/m or less. The very first sign of the sludge in solution may be in the range of 0.11. These contaminants are hydrophilic which means they have an affinity for water molecules as well as for oil molecules.No Percent of 500 Units Sludged 11.4. Table-11.016 to 0.5 Relationship between Various Tests & Factors affecting Test Results : The factors which affects the various test results are given in Table . This test is extremely sensitive to the presence of oil decay products and soluble polar contaminants from solid insulating materials.4.030 N/m while a badly sludging deteriorated oil has an IFT of 0.027 to 0.11. dirt. Dissolved water below conductive particles 80% saturation.020 to 0.018 0.024 100 85 69 35 33 30 00 500 425 345 175 165 150 000 S.018 to 0.020 0.016 0. IFT values and sludge formation can be understood from the following Table .014 to 0.022 0. as rust.5 for a better understanding of the results from interpretation point of view. The interface is now less distinct and the tension at the interface is reduced. Interfacial tension test results are thus related to the degree of the oils oxidation.No 1 Test Break Down Voltage Free water.040 to 0.024 Above 0.6 : Interfacial Tension N/m 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Below 0. Good clean oil will normally lay on top of water and will yield an IFT of 0.5 : Factors Responsible for Results Factors not Responsible for Results S. metallic .022 to 0.
1 to 0. Factor (Tan ) contaminants. oxidation by products. 85 to 92% Nitrogen and 5 to 8% Oxygen. Oxygen . and Electrolytic action. In the case of an incipient fault. free water. Oil breakdown. 2 Dissolved water. poor contacts in the tap connections or soldered joints. 10 to 25% Acetylene. if not remedied. Insulation decomposition.2%. acids. Resistivity Contaminants such as metal salts. The principal mechanisms of gases formation includes Oxidation. or closed paths in the magnetic system of the core.cuttings. its type and its severity may often be inferred from the composition of the gases and the rate at which they are formed. Sludges. may eventually lead to serious trouble. but also to a much greater extent as a result of faults. 0. free gases will divide between the gaseous and liquid phases by diffusion.). 0. Free water. . shorted turns. A sharp change in the composition (for example. i. oxidation products. filter dust. the gases formed remain partly dissolved in the liquid insulation. the gas composition may be : 2 to 5% Hydrogen. 4 to 8% Oxygen) testifies to a grave internal fault accompanied by arcing (insulation puncture.20 to 30%. oil decay products dissolved sludge. such as shorted parallel conductors in the windings.70 to 79%. heat flux generated in the core winding. Organic and inorganic acids.5 to 2% Acetylene. In case of minor faults not accompanied by violent oil decomposition and gas evolution. Usually. 3 to 10% Methane. and Methane . Diffusion and achievement of saturation both take time. etc. 3 - 4 Interfacial Tension - 5 6 Acidity Water - 11. which. 50 to 70% Hydrogen.e. Vapourisation. In case of a fault. oil decay Dielectric Dissipation products. water in all forms. the gas dissolved in the transformer oil has the following composition : Nitrogen .0. flashover in the contact system of the tap-changer. dissolved water. Hydrogen & Acetylene are absent. Operation with a fault may seriously damage the equipment and it is valuable to be able to detect the fault at an early stage of development. Hydrophilic contaminants like soluble polar impurities. KOH consuming impurities. combined water.5 to 1% Methane.6 Dissolved Gas Analysis : Gases may be formed in all oil-filled electrical equipment due to natural aging. during which serious damage to the equipment can occur undetected. under normal conditions. Such gas composition bears witness to a fault.
The important factor is the rate of change of fault gas levels.1 Threshold fault gas levels : Threshold fault gas levels of various gases for transformers which have been in service for a few years.S. c. .CH4 Ethane .Low-energy electrical discharges produce mainly hydrogen and methane.Decomposition products include ethylene and methane. as suggested by Dornenberg and Strittmatter and the U.6.Large quantities of carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide are evolved from overheated cellulose.Periodic analysis of oil samples for the amount and composition of dissolved gases forms a means of detecting faults. if the fault is severe. Overheated Oil . Depending upon the energy released in the core upon the occurrence of faults. The presence of Acetylene is the key indicator of an arc. CO and CO2 will be found in significant quantities in healthy transformers. d.C2H6 Ethylene . Overheated Cellulose . depending to some degree. Partial Discharges (Corona) . on the amount of power follow through which accompanies the arc. Bureau of Reclamation are mentioned below : Fault Gas Contents Hydrogen . a. As cellulose will degrade under normal transformer operating temperatures. A large quantity of Ethylene is a key indicator and.000 ppm 500 ppm 125 ppm 75 ppm 175 ppm 15 ppm 750 ppm 11. (Normally once in a year for transformers 10MVA & above rating) . Normally the faults are of four types as per the energy releases are concerned. Arcing . Other gases will also be present if the fault involves an oil-impregnated structure.Arc breakdown of insulating oil is charcterised by the production of hydrogen and acetylene as the predominant fault gases. with smaller quantities of hydrogen and ethane. They are accompanied by some ethylene and lesser amounts of other thermal products.C2H4 Acetylene . A significant increase in the CO/CO2 ratio is usually a key indicator of overheated cellulose.C2H2 Carbon monoxideCO Carbon dioxide CO2 Dornenberg U.No 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 The age and history of the transformer must be considered in evaluating dissolved fault gas data.000 ppm S. 11. the gases are also different.H2 Methane . traces of acetylene may be present. Hydrogen is the key indicator. b. Other fault gases like ethane and ethylene may also be present in small quantities.S Bureau & of Strittmatter Reclamation 200 ppm 50 ppm 35 ppm 80 ppm 5 ppm 500 ppm 6.
The ratios used in the interpretation methods summerised in Table-11.1 to 1 1 to 3 >3 Case No 0 1 No fault Partial Discharges of low energy density 2 Partial discharges of high energy density.6. The table also shows a code for each range of the ratios of the characteristic gases. H2 C2H4 C2H6 This shows various limits of the ratios corresponding to normal aging and to various types of fault from which a diagnosis of the nature of a fault may be obtained.2 : Code of Range of Ratios Ratios of Characteristic Gases < 0. but leading to tracking or perforation of solid insulation.2 Analysis of Gas Dissolved in Oil : A convenient basis for fault diagnosis is the calculation of ratios of the concentrations of the gases present. 0 0 0 1 0 0 Normal ageing Discharges in gas-filled cavities resulting from incomplete impregnation. Arcing-breakdown of oil between windings or coils or between coils to earth. General insulated conductor overheating. Breakdown of oil between solid materials. or supersaturation or cavitation or high humidity. C2H4 CH4 . Local over-heating of the core due to concentrations of flux.2 are : C2H2 .6.11. As above.1 0.6. Discharges with power follow through. 4 Discharges of high energy 1 0 2 5 6 Thermal fault of low temperature < 150oC ** Thermal fault of low temperature 150oC to 300oC 0 0 0 2 1 0 . Selector breaking current. Table-11. numerals have been allocated so that 000 represents normal aging conditions. Characteristic Fault C2H2 C2H4 0 1 1 2 CH4 H2 1 0 2 2 C2H4 C2H6 0 0 1 2 Typical Example 1 1 0 3 Discharges of low energy * 1-2 0 Continuous sparking in oil between bad connections of different 1-2 potential or to floating potential.
bad contacts/joints (pyrolitic carbon formation) up to core & tank circulating currents. .1 and 3 to above 3 and for the ratio C2H4/C2H6 from a value between 0. the actual value above or below 1 is dependent on many factors such as design of oil. 0 0 2 2 1 2 over heating of copper due to eddy currents. preservation system. In this case the gases come mainly from the decomposition of the solid insulation. An increasing value of the amount of C2H2 may indicate that the hot point temperature is higher than 1000oC. 7 8 * ** *** **** For the purpose of this table there will be a tendency for the ratio C2H2/C2H4 to rise from a value between 0. Ratio CH4/H2 is normally about 1. This fault condition is normally indicated by increasing gas concentrations.*** Thermal fault of medium temperature 300oC to 700oC Thermal fault of high temperature > 700oC **** Increasing hot-spot temperatures varying from small hot-spots in core.1 and 3 to above 3 as the spark develops in intensity. actual level of temperature and oil quality. shorting links in core. this explains the value of the ratio C2H4/C2H6.