- January 2022
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- In the last 20 years the use of ester fluids as an alternative to mineral oil for transformer insulation has been an active field of research and development. These liquids have a much lower environmental impact than mineral oils, besides reducing the transformer"s fire risk. Although the use of natural and synthetic esters is nowadays frequent for certain applications, as for distribution transformers in highly populated areas, railway transformers or off-shore windmill transformers, the experience on large and medium sized units is still reduced. One of the critical aspects that must be assessed to use esters as dielectric fluids for large size transformers is the dielectric design of the equipment. The permittivity of esters and ester-impregnated cellulose are different from those of mineral-oil-cellulose systems, what has an impact on the electric field distribution in the transformer. Additionally, in some cases, the dielectric strength of ester fluids differs from that of mineral oil. This paper presents a study about the dielectric design of ester-based power transformers. The insulation system of a 400/138 kV, 280 MVA transformer was modelled using a finite element tool and a comparison of the field distribution under 50 Hz AC power voltage of both insulation systems is provided.
- oil insulation; power transformer insulation; oils; stress; dielectric liquids; fluids; electric fields; design methodology; dielectric breakdown; electric fields