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Projects: Projects for Investigator
Reference Number NIA_NGET0080
Title 400kV Synthetic Ester Filled Transformer Pilot Project
Status Completed
Energy Categories Other Power and Storage Technologies(Electricity transmission and distribution) 100%;
Research Types Applied Research and Development 100%
Science and Technology Fields ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY (Electrical and Electronic Engineering) 100%
UKERC Cross Cutting Characterisation Not Cross-cutting 100%
Principal Investigator Project Contact
No email address given
National Grid Electricity Transmission
Award Type Network Innovation Allowance
Funding Source Ofgem
Start Date 01 July 2013
End Date 31 July 2014
Duration 13 months
Total Grant Value £486,000
Industrial Sectors Power
Region London
Investigators Principal Investigator Project Contact , National Grid Electricity Transmission (100.000%)
Web Site http://www.smarternetworks.org/Project/NIA_NGET0080
The objective is for this project to give proof of concept on the use of synthetic ester, rather than mineral oil, in a 400kV application. It will deliver a transformer test rig consisting of a representative sample of a full size winding and filled with synthetic ester which will be subject to HV testing in line with National Grid and IEC specifications (specifically Lightning Impulse Test but other tests may be carried out). The scope of the research scheme shall be sufficient to give Alstom whatever confidence it needs to supply National Grid with a standard size 400/132kV 240MVA transformer to the usual specifications on a standard contractual arrangement, subject to the usual procurement exercise, with the normal guarantees and liabilities.
The project will give confidence that synthetic ester can be specified for application in National Grid transformers up to 400kV. In achieving this National Grid will then have an option to deploy a low flammable liquid transformer to sites where this would provide business benefit e.g. remove the requirement for extensive fire protection; enhanced low-fire risk to address planning issues.
Project benefits could include commissioning the design and build of a full size synthetic ester filled transformer.
Abstract The risk of transformers filled with mineral oil catching fire as a result of failure is mitigated in line with TS 3.1.3, incurring extra costs in the civil engineering design and construction phases.
Synthetic esters such as Midel 7131 pose fewer issues regarding environmental and fire consequences, whilst offering similar insulating performance. Midel 7131 is biodegradable to IEC 61039 and offers a reduced fire hazard compared to mineral oil (Midel has a flash point of 60C and a fire point of 316C compared with a flash point of around 150C and a fire point below 300C for mineral oil). It has an IEC fire class K3 rating and a well documented fire safety record over 30 years. Therefore the use of Midel may result in reduced civil design and construction costs along with reduced maintenance costs (i.e. fire protection scheme).
Publications National Grid Electricity Transmission (2014) Closedown report (PDF 58 KB)
Final Report (none)
Added to Database 15/03/16