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Transformer Oil Cleanup

Electrical transformers work to convert the high voltage energy generated at power plants and transform this energy to usable lower voltage energy, which runs consumer and business power needs. These transformers are an integral portion of the power grid, which by definition consists of the power generation and transmission lines which seamlessly provide a continuous supply of reliable, consistent energy regardless of end user power requirements.

Transformers contain paper-oil insulation systems designed to prevent overheating. Over time, water may accumulate in transformers due to leaks in gaskets and welds, improper sealing, poor maintenance, inadequate drying at time of production, and natural aging of insulation materials inside the transformer. Accumulated moisture and other byproducts of insulation degradation lead to decreased efficiency in energy transmission and eventually dielectric breakdown, resulting in power outages. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, power outages and other interruptions in the electricity distribution system cost the U.S. economy at least $150 billion annually; an annual cost of about $500 for each man, woman, and child.

Moisture in transformer oil is one of the most common causes of breakdown. Moisture advances insulation degradation and causes decreased dielectric strength and increased mechanical stress on equipment. It leaves transformers vulnerable to corrosion, oxidation, fractures, restricted oil flow, increased heat and aeration, among other harmful side effects. Simply, transformer life is measured by the health of its insulation system. For every doubling in moisture content, transformer life is reduced by half. Water content in transformer oil must be kept to a level of 10ppm or less.

Regular maintenance of water content in transformer oil is essential. To keep moisture out, transformers may include conservator or inert gas systems and online oil filtration systems. Oven drying or vacuuming the system also removes moisture, but requires excessive time, labor, and money. Laboratory tests prove the best way to restore and maintain transformer oil properties is a combination of adsorbents, desiccants, and hollow fiber membranes (HFM). DAI’s DrySphere™ removes water in transformer oil to less than 10ppm, more than doubling transformer life and providing greatly improved energy transmission to the power grid.

Drysphere™ Product Info | Electrical Paper-Oil Transformers and the Requirement for High Quality Adsorbing Desiccants to Prolong Transformer Life