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Raising knowledge and developing technology for the design and deployment of high-performance power transformers immersed in biodegradable fluids “BIOTRAFO”

Project description

Eco-friendly coolants could reduce the carbon footprint of power distribution

The use of fossil fuels in the power industry is not limited to power generation. From its generation to its arrival at buildings, the current passes through an average of four transformers that are typically cooled with a petroleum derivative. More eco-friendly and biodegradable esters of natural origin are a promising alternative. However, they are more viscous and can accelerate the ageing of the transformer materials. Temperature is an important factor; to that end, with the support of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions programme, the BIOTRAFO project is analysing the effect of temperature on power transformers that use biodegradable esters as coolants as well as the environmental and fire performance of these liquids.


The BIOTRAFO project will analyze the effect of temperature on the designs of power transformers that use biodegradable esters as coolant, the environmental and fire performance of these liquids will be also 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 good 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 to know 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 analyzed. Not only the question will be observed from a theoretical perspective, industrial platforms will also be used to test the generated models.
The results of the research will be disseminated among specialized and non-specialized audiences, considering the commercial exploitation of the results obtained. The project will also carry out tasks of knowledge transfer generated for this purpose, the training aspects of the research personnel involved in the project will be taken care of.Finally the management and coordination of the project will be efficiently organized.
To carry out this task, a consortium of thirteen partners has been formed, six of which do not belong to the EU. All of them have knowledge and proven experience in the field of study. Ten of the partners belong to the academic sector and three are companies. Two are manufacturers of power transformers, while the other performs diagnostic work on transformers that are in operation


Net EU contribution
€ 253 000,00
39005 Santander

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Noroeste Cantabria Cantabria
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 253 000,00

Participants (8)

Partners (5)