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The susceptibility of mineral oil to oxidation under the conditions of its normal use in electrical apparatus has presented manufacturing and operating engineers with a continuing problem which has not been satisfactorily solved despite the widespread attention which it has attracted. Mineral oil is one of the basic insulating materials used in high-voltage electrical apparatus, such as power cables, switches, and transformers. Each application has its own specific problems concerning the proper selection of the base crude oil and the degree and type of refining best adapted for the manufacture of the most suitable product. It is with the laboratory evaluation of this product that the present series of papers is concerned. This evaluation is of two types. The first concerns the selection of the new and unused oil in order to insure that only the best quality will be selected for the application envisaged. The second type of evaluation concerns the examination of the oil during its actual use in the normal operation of the electrical equipment. The object is to insure against the development of a deteriorated oil whose continued presence would create an undue hazard to the future successful operation of the electrical machine. The present paper is primarily concerned with this second type of evaluation. Its specific object is to examine the possible value of those transformer oil tests which have been suggested for determining the quality of new and unused oils when applied to the problem of evaluating the chemical condition of the same oils during the normal operation of the transformer.
Clark, Frank M.
Division Engineer, General Electric Co., Schenectady, N. Y.