Eskom to adopt natural esters for transformer oil insulation
South Africa, Johannesburg: South Africa’s electricity company Eskom has announced it held a workshop to discuss the modalities of adopting natural esters as the preferred insulating fluid for transformers.
The workshop was attended by Eskom engineers and scientists, as well as municipalities, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), oil suppliers and the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), the utility said in a statement.
“This workshop is a result of our ongoing technology scanning initiatives, which have revealed that OEMs and utilities around the world are moving towards the adoption of environmentally friendly esters as the chosen insulating oil for transformers”, explained Eskom’s GM for Power Delivery Engineering, Mr Prince Moyo.
It is Eskom’s intention to conclude studies into the feasibility of adopting these oils for small pole and ground-mounted transformers (termed Class 0) in the early part of 2017, with a view to specifying them for standard use during the year. Deployment in larger transformers is envisaged in the coming years.
At the same workshop, Eskom signed a memorandum of agreement with IDC on partnership to establish a sustainable value chain that may involve farming of the seed crops, processing the oil and distributing it to transformer manufacturers. Engineering research will also be conducted to answer all related technical questions.