You are on page 1of 29



Transformer Oil also called as Mineral insulating oil originate from petroleum.

The chemical structure of transformer oil is very complex. It is a complex mixture of hydrocarbons with small quantities of non hydrocarbon compounds.

Depending on dominating percentage of type of hydrocarbons present ,crude is classified as: Paraffinic base crude: Consists mainly of paraffinic hydrocarbons, the nephthenic and aromatic hydrocarbon form a small percentage. Nephthenic base crude: contains mainly nephthenic hydrocarbons,the paraffin being present in small quantities. Mixed base crude: These are intermediate between paraffinic and nephthenic crude.


After refining the crude base finished product is prepared and is then served as transformer oil to perform various functions. Provides dielectric strength to the transformer insulation system. Provides efficient cooling. Protect the transformer core and coil assembly from chemical attack. Prevent the build-up of sludge in the transformer.


High electric strength.

Impulse strength and volume resistivity. Low dielectric dissipation factor. High specific heat and thermal
conductivity. Excellent chemical stability and gas absorbing properties.


when the properties of oil meet to the
relevant standards it is a good oil.

When the properties of oil have changed

enough that the oil can no longer satisfactorily perform anyone of these functions, oil is said to be bad or deteriorated.

physical contamination contamination by gases chemical decomposition


oil oxidation is a fact of transformer life. The
best we can do is to control the situation.
Temperature degrades oil. Increase in oil temperature of 7 to 10 deg. C approximately doubles the rate of degradation.

Low exposure of oil to air.

Monitor and maintain transformer oil during its service life.


Physical tests.

Chemical tests Electrical tests.

1) APPEARANCE : Oil shall be clear transparent and free from suspended matter or sediments. Conclusions: Light colour : Degree of refining Cloudy or foggy : Presence of moisture Greenish tinge : Presence of copper salts Acrid smell : Presence of volatile acids, causing corrosion.

2. Density_:
To be conducted by using hydrometer or
density bottle. Higher density of oil results in higher viscosity which in turn affects the heat dissipation characteristics of the oil.

Normal Range: 0.85 to 0.893.

3) Viscosity:
The viscosity of oil is a measure of its
resistance to continuous flow without the effect of external forces. The oil must be mobile as heat transfer in transformer occurs mainly by convection currents. Low viscosity is therefore advantageous. Max. Limit:- 27 Cst.

4. Pour point :
The pour point may be defined as the lowest
temperature at which the oil will just flow under the prescribed conditions of the test.

This is determined with the help of Cloud and

Pour point apparatus. If the oil becomes viscous or solidifies it may hinder the formation of convection currents and thus proper cooling may not occur.

5) Flash point :
The flash point of the oil is the maximum
temperature to which an oil must be heated, so that it gives enough vapour which can form a flammable mixture with the air.

Minimum value: 1400 C to 1500 C (IS 335)

1250 C ( IS 1886)

6) Interfacial Tension:
The interfacial tension between oil and water
is a measure of the molecular attractive force between their unlike molecules at the interface. The basic significance of IFT value lies in the fact that it provides the sensitive means for the detection of polar contaminants in the oil including those deterioration products acquired in service as a result of oxidation. Minimum value : 40 Dynes/Cm or 0.04 N/m

1) NEUTRALISATION NUMBER: This test covers the determination of acidic constituents in insulating oils. A low neutralisation number of a oil is necessary to minimise electrical conduction. and metal corrosion to maximise the life of insulating system. An increase in N.N from the value of unused product indicates contaminated by substance with which oil has been in contact or a chemical change in the oil from processes such as oxidation. Limits : 0.03mgKOHgm (max)-IS 335 :0.5 mg KOHgm (max)-- IS 1886

2) Corrosive Sulphur :

This method covers the corrosive sulphur

compounds in mineral insulating oil. Oil may contain substances that cause corrosion under certain condition of use.

3)Water contents:

Water is the most common &

undesirable contaminants of oil in service. It finds its way into oil by any of the following routes. In this case large amount of water is found at the bottom of the tank.

I)By accidental leakages: II) By Breathing Action:

This occurs when transformer alters in temperature.

III) During filling or Topping up Operation:

If dry oil is exposed to humid atmosphere, oil absorbs considerable amount of . moisture.

IV) By Chemical reaction:

Water may be formed by chemical reaction of oil in conjunction with cellulose insulation.


Great reduction in Electrical Strength, mainly
due to dissolved moisture. Moisture in oil may also be absorbed by other solid insulating materials in contact with it , especially cellulose which possesses an affinity for water. In new oil water retention capacity is low. As oil ages in service acidity of the oil increases because of oxidation or contamination, the tendency to form water emulsion as a result of temperature cycling or agitation increases.

PERMISSIBLE LIMITS: 1. Unused oil : Max.50 PPM (IS 335)

2. Before energising new transformer using new oil :Max. 15 PPM (IS 335)

3.ln service oil :above 145 KV Max.25PPM : below 145 KV Max. 35PPM

The electrical properties are important
because oil acts as an insulant. 1.Electrical strength 2. DC volume resistivity 3. Dielectric dissipation factor.

1-Electrical Strength
The electric strength is that voltage at which an
arc discharge occurs between two electrodes dipped in oil under test and set 2.5 mm apart when the voltage is increased at a standard rate. The factors affecting BDV are wet solid matters i.e. fibers. The significance of test is that it will only detect free water, dirt, and conductive particles, not acids or sludges.

Permissible values of B.D.V.

1.For unused mineral oils as per "IS 335" a) New unfiltered oil : Min. 30 KV (rms.) b) After filtration : Min. 60 KV (rms.) 2. Before energising new transformer using new oil. (IS 335 revised) a) Equipment voltage below 72.5 KV : Min 40 KV.(rms). b) 72.5 KV and less than 145 KV : Min 50 KV.(rms.). c) 145 KV and above : Min 60 KV (rms).

3. Oil in Equipment IS1886 a) Equipment voltage below 72.5 KV :Min.40 KV (rms). b) 72.5 KV and less than 145 KV :Min.50 KV (rms). :Min 60 KV (rms).

c) 145 KV and above

2. Resistivity:

Measurement of resistivity of an insulating oil

provides a sensitive method for determining the conducting impurities. Resistivity is the quotient of DC electrical field strength and the steady state current density within the material. It affects the electrical losses of the equipment and this causes deterioration of liquid and equipment failure. Measurement of resistivity is considered to be of greatest value as it is reasonably proportional to oxidation acids.

Permissible limits :
a) Unused mineral oil as per IS 335. i) Min 2.5 *1012 Ohm cm. - at 270 C. ii) Min 0.02 *1012 Ohm cm. - at 900 C. b) Before energizing new transformer with new insulating oil Min 1 *1012 Ohm Cm.- at 900 C. c) Oil in equipment Min 0.1 *10120hm Cm.- at 900 C.

3.Dielectric dissipation factor:

The dielectric dissipation factor or tan delta of

an oil is the tangent of the loss angle that is the angle by which the phase difference between applied voltage and the resulting current deviates from 90 degrees when dielectric capacitor consists exclusively of the dielectric material.

The tan delta is analogous to resistivity and is

affected by the same oil factors(contaminants).

Permissible limits:
1Tan delta at 900 for unused oil :Max 0.2 2.Before energising new transformer with new insulating oil at 900 :Max 0.05 3.0il in equipment at 900 a) Above 145 KV :Max 0.2 b) Below 145 KV :Max 1