Vegetable oil for a sustainable energy supply
Transformers use high-quality mineral oil as an insulating fluid and as a coolant. However, vegetable oil also has the required insulating properties. As a renewable, carbon-neutral and biodegradable resource, vegetable oil has environmental benefits and a lower fire load.
In addition, there are also benefits associated with the use of vegetable oil-filled transformers in water reserves. Since vegetable oil is a natural, biodegradable resource that is not hazardous to waters, these transformers can also easily be used in water reserves and flood plains. Transformers using mineral oil, in contrast, must fulfil very stringent special building restrictions. Another benefit of vegetable oil-filled transformers: due to the vegetable oil's high fire point they can also be installed in areas with extended fire regulations, for example in residential areas.
Transformers with vegetable oil-based insulation are becoming increasingly significant. This technology marks an important step towards future-proofing the grid infrastructure. At present, the technology is still at the research and development stage. However, the long-term objective is to roll it out widely.