IEC 60296 (Ed. 5) – a standard for classification of mineral insulating oil on performance and not on the origin
In July 2020, the 5th edition of IEC 60296 has been published (Fig. 1). The title of the standard is as follows: Fluids for electrotechnical applications – Mineral insulating oils for electrical equipment.
IEC 60296 is one of the oldest (first edition 1969) and most developed specifications on insulating liquids. The developing on the oil market and the environmental issues require high knowledge from the users and more possibilities to assure the right quality of a certain brand.
The FDIS (Final Draft International Standard) of the standard IEC62701 Rerefined and reclaimed mineral insulating oils for transformers and switchgear was approved in September 2013. Part of the industry saw discrimination of reprocessed oils in respect of unused ones. SMB (Standardization Management Board) withdrew IEC 62701.
SMB instructed TC 10 (Technical committee Fluids for Electrotechnical Application) to revise IEC 60296 so that it becomes a standard for mineral insulating oils irrespective of their source. The standard shall include requirements for declaration of the provenance of the oils without bias to the origin. The user / purchaser may then make any preference declared in their purchasing process.
As a consequence, MT 38 has been established in TC 10 with the following task − to revise IEC 60296 so that it becomes a standard for mineral insulating oils, irrespective of their source.
Mrs. Ivanka Atanasova-Höhlein has been nominated as MT 38 convenor.
In this article, the convenor presents her personal point of view on IEC 60296 5th edition. Some of the points are not new. Nevertheless, they will be mentioned in order to elucidate their meaning. New items will be explicitly marked.
For the first time we have a standard which is based only on performance, not on the origin. Nevertheless, it must be clear that the described properties are those that have turned out to be important in the course of time. A standard reflects the state-of-the-art practices and is adaptive in case of damages and accidents caused by the material described. Raw materials such as crude oil and specially processed oil such as transformer oil are short resources and must be economically used. This is not just a temporary statement but substantial necessity for mankind survival.
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