Biotrafo project on ester-based fluids

Biotrafo is a project that has created an international and inter-sectorial network which aims to expands current knowledge about the application of ester-based fluids in power transformers.

Biotrafo is a project financed from the European Commission Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action-Research and Innovation Staff Exchange (MSCA-RISE) grant agreement No 823969.

BIOTRAFO includes activities related to the production and characterization of ester fluids through physical-chemical, thermal, dielectric and magnetic analysis. The properties of new fluids and the evolution of these properties with aging are studied. Furthermore, the interaction of the fluids with the insulating paper is tested, analysing the influence of ester-based fluids on its aging process and the overall performance of the paper-oil system. Finally, global transformer models are being developed to determine the influence of the use of ester-based fluids in the transformer design.

The project started on January 1, 2019 and will end on December 31, 2021.

The BIOTRAFO project analyses the effect of temperature on the designs of power transformers that use biodegradable esters as coolant, and the environmental and fire performance of these liquids are also being evaluated. These machines are very common in our power distribution systems. Since electricity is generated until it reaches households, it passes through an average of four transformers. Currently the liquid used in most of these machines is a petroleum derivative, since its performance is well known. However, the environmental awareness of many companies is demanding new transformers that are cooled by esters of natural origin.

In this framework, BIOTRAFO proposes a study that allows knowing the temperature in the windings of the transformer when using biodegradable liquids, which by their nature are more viscous. This temperature is a critical factor for the useful life of the transformer, due to the aging of dielectric solid materials. The aging of these materials when immersed in these liquids will also be analysed. Not only will the question be observed from a theoretical perspective, industrial platforms will also be used to test the generated models.

Source: Transformers Magazine