Purification of Dielectric Fluids Based on Vegetable Oil

Purification of Dielectric Fluids

FR3 is a fire-resistant green dielectric liquid made on the basis of ether.  This product was specifically designed for use in transformers that must meet higher requirements for environmental and fire safety.  The main base for obtaining FR3 is vegetable oil with special additives of natural origin.

Fireproof properties of this dielectric fluid are caused by the lack of petroleum products, silicon-organic compounds and other potentially dangerous substances in its composition.  The manufacturer notes the speed and completeness of FR3 decomposition in soil and water environment.  The ignition temperature amounts to 360ºC, which is the best indicator among fluids with high fire safety.

Another advantage of FR3 dielectric fluid is its compatibility with transformer oils used in modern transformers, due to the similarity of their characteristics.  For example, FR3 viscosity is close to viscosity value of conventional transformer oil.

Possible applications

FR3-type dielectric fluid can be used in transformers located indoors and outdoors.  Its use in switchgear, located in networks and basements with a higher level of fire and explosion safety requirements, is also justified.

Now, this dielectric fluid is most often used by small and medium-sized substations installed on transmission lines and base platforms.

It is also known to be applied at industrial enterprises and government entities.  High environmental and human health safety indicators make it possible to use FR3 in transformers located at plants and factories, specializing in the production of food products and pharmaceuticals.

Methods of purification and regeneration

Manufacturers of FR3 dielectric fluid note longer service life compared to conventional petroleum-based transformer oils.  But this does not mean that this dielectric is not subject to the processes of oxidation and aging. This causes the deterioration of its performance and decreasing of transformer equipment reliability.

Purification and regeneration processes are the solution to this problem.  They are well developed for petroleum-based oils.  Obviously, dielectric fluids made from vegetable oils have their own specifics in this regard.

In July 2015 GlobeCore carried out testing of its Clean Marine-type plant in the process of purification of FR3 dielectric fluid.  It was operated in the transformer of the marine drilling platform, located 250 kilometers away from the coast of Nigeria.  Offshore drilling conditions require increased fire and explosion safety. Therefore it is advisable to use FR3 dielectric fluid in marine transformers.

The experiment was quite successful and confirmed that GlobeCore equipment copes well with purification of dielectric fluids based on vegetable oils and completely restores their operating parameters to normalized values.  This makes it possible to extend dielectric fluid service life, improve the reliability of power transformers and ensure the necessary level of explosion and fire safety.