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Liquid Compatibility

Occasionally, we get questions from customers regarding whether two particular insulating liquids are compatible. For example, a customer may contemplate retrofilling with a different liquid, or adding liquid to a unit (“top-off”), but the original liquid is no longer being made. In any case, how do you determine a compatible substitute liquid? 

Oxidation Inhibitor and Reinhibiting Oil-Filled Transformers

Most mineral oil dielectric fluids contain an added oxidation inhibitor which is a chemical additive that acts as a preservative. The purpose of the inhibitor is to prevent oxygen from reacting with the oil, thus slowing the aging rate of the oil (and also of the solid insulation). The two most common oxidation inhibitors used in transformer oils are 2,6-ditertiarybutyl para-cresol (DBPC) and 2,6-ditertiary-butyl phenol (DBP).

Hot Oil Cleaning

Whenever there is excessive oxidation of the oil and aging of the paper insulation, the service recommended most often is hot oil cleaning. This valuable process involves the use of a mobile oil processing unit (a.k.a. vacuum oil processor or “VOP”) or oil reclamation “rig,” with the use of filtering clay such as Fuller’s Earth. The oil is reclaimed in the VOP through heating and vacuuming and sub-micronic filtration, and then returned to the equipment that is being cleaned.

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