Measuring the Viscosity of Transformer and Insulation Oil

Electricity is a key part of everyday life, from powering lights and heating food through to moving things in the environment, electrical power is required everywhere.

Transformers have a huge role to play in production activities as well as in electrically powered tools (Figure 1). In several steps, they can transfer huge quantity of voltage from within a power grid to the suitable magnitude required, e.g. for a flatscreen.


Figure 1. Transformers (CC by Mike_tn)

There are thousands of transformers in the market. Large units, almost as big as a truck, filled with hundreds of liters of highly specialized transformer oil, such as naphthenic oil procured from crude oil.

Making Transformers Smaller by Getting the Heat Out

One of the key roles of the oil, apart from electrical insulation and protecting the transformer's copper wires from oxidation, is to convey heat out of the transformer. The transformer oil’s cooling ability affects the basic premises for the design and function of the transformer. If its viscosity is low, its performance will be better.

The classification and acknowledgment of the viscosity of these kinds of oils is vital, mainly in terms of production control and quality. Density is another major parameter, as possible ice bodies floating on top of the oil cause a safety hazard.

During usage, the following parameters are measured (et al):

  • Density or relative density @ 15°C
  • Kin. viscosity or Saybolt viscosity @ 40/100°C
  • Kin. viscosity or Saybolt viscosity @ -40/0°C

Why is the SVMTM 3001 the Perfect Solution?

  • Simple and versatile operation
  • Single instrument covers the entire viscosity range
  • Calculation of API density @15°C
  • Concurrent determination of density and viscosity
  • Minimal operation costs
  • Ideal for mobile labs

Who Conducts these Investigations?

The density and viscosity are crucial for production and storage facilities. They are also important for users like power grid operators who are involved with quality control. In many cases, service providers for transformer maintenance need an SVMTM 3001 as well (Figure 2).

SVM TM3001

Figure 2. SVM TM3001 (CC by: cowlet)

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Anton Paar USA.

For more information on this source, please visit Anton Paar USA.

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