Numerical study of the cooling capacity of several alternative liquids in zig-zag cooling system of a power transformer

Agustín Santisteban, Fernando Delgado, Alfredo Ortiz, Inmaculada Fernandez, Carlos J. Renedo



Mineral oil is the usual coolant of the power Transformers. Nonetheless, the high risk of fire of this liquid due to its low ignition point and its scarce biodegradability has promoted the development of dielectrics alternative fluids with better physical-chemical properties. However, these new liquids have to be as good coolants as mineral oil in order to maintain the power transformer performance. This numerical study analyzes the coolant capacity of some of these new commercial liquids (a natural ester, a synthetic ester, and a silicone oil) by using the zig-zag cooling system of the low voltage winding of a real power transformer. Two types of thermal-fluid studies (parametric and time-dependent studies) have been made by using a 3D model of this system. The comparison of temperatures obtained from the parametric study (different inlet flow rates) allow us to say that the worst coolant is the silicone oil. Also, it can be say that a significant increase in the inlet flow rate produces mild drops of hot-spots temperatures and no modification in the initial temperature distribution. For the timedependent study (25% of overload during 1 hour), the hot-spot temperature exceed the limits, which negatively affects the aging speed of the insulating paper and therefore the transformer lifetime.

Published in: Renewable Energy & Power Quality Journal (RE&PQJ, Nº. 14)
Pages:397-402 Date of Publication: 2016/5/20
ISSN: 2172-038X Date of Current Version:2016/05/04
REF:342-16 Issue Date: May 2016
DOI:10.24084/repqj14.342 Publisher: EA4EPQ

Authors and affiliations

Agustín Santisteban, Fernando Delgado, Alfredo Ortiz, Inmaculada Fernández, Carlos J. Renedo
Department of Electrical and Energy Engineering. E.T.S.I. Industriales y de Telecomunicación, Cantabria University, Santander. Spain

Key words

Power transformer, zig-zag cooling system, alternative dielectric liquids, coolant capacity, FEM simulation


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