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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter September 22, 2020

Evaluating critical characteristics of vegetable oil as a biodegradable insulating oil for transformer

  • Senthil Kumar Subburaj ORCID logo EMAIL logo , Madavan Rengaraj and Ravindran Mariappan


In transformer, fuel based mineral oil is used as insulation and coolant over many years. The ecological issue related with the current liquid insulation system is the throwing away of used oil samples after drawn out service. The paper investigates the critical properties of biodegradable oil such as olive and palm oil according to international standards. After that, a small laboratory setup of 1 kVA transformer was designed for the load test with insulating fluids with olive oil and palm oil were tested. Likewise, an attempt has been made for the technical feasibility of mixing proportion was also investigated. Then, the experimental results were compared with mineral oil. Experimental analysis shows that vegetable oil’s electrical and fire resistance properties are better than the conventionally present used mineral oil. Yet, the viscosity of vegetable oil is much higher than mineral oil. Added to that, vegetable oils are exhibiting the higher amount of higher molecular fatty acids. From the load test, it is found that transformer with nature ester palm oil has a higher efficiency that of olive oil, but it is found lower efficiency than mineral oil.

Corresponding author: Senthil Kumar Subburaj, National Engineering College, Department of EEE, Kovilpatti, Tamil Nadu, 628503, India, E-mail:

  1. Author contribution: All the authors have accepted responsibility for the entire content of this submitted manuscript and approved submission.

  2. Research funding: None declared.

  3. Conflict of interest statement: The authors declare no conflicts of interest regarding this article.


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Received: 2020-06-15
Accepted: 2020-09-11
Published Online: 2020-09-22

© 2020 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

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