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Property

 

Discussion

Mitigation Technique

Color

Increasing of color number (or darkening) indicates oil deterioration

Reclamation or oil change.

Visual Examination

Cloudy or hazy oil might indicate excessive moisture or presence of suspended oil decay products. Precipitated or suspended carbon indicates severe arcing. Foreign particles may be due to contaminants or inadequate sample flushing. Free water might indicate a leak.

Filter to remove solid contaminants. Vacuum degasifier removes moisture. Reclamation removes oil decay products. Remove free water before processing the oil.

Turbidity

An increasing turbidity suggests the presence of foreign matter, excessive water, or insoluble oil decay products suspended in the oil.

Interfacial Tension

A

lowering IFT suggests oil deterioration due to oxidation.

Reclamation or oil change. Coil cleaning is necessary in the case of sludge build-up.

Neutralization Number

An increasing NN suggests oil deterioration due to oxidation. High NN leads to sludge formation.

Dielectric Breakdown Voltage

A

lowering DBV is caused by water and particles. D877 is popular but D1816 is more

 

suitable for in-service oils and processed oils.

Vacuum degasifier would take out moisture and particles in oil. If solid insulation is wet, it should be dried for long term benefit.

Water Content

Increasing moisture may be due to moisture ingress from leaks, water migration from paper to oil in units undergoing oil purification. Oil deterioration also produces water

as

a by product.

 

Power Factor, 25 o C

An increasing power factor indicates moisture and ionic species in the oil formed as a result of oil degradation.

Vacuum degasifier would take out moisture and particles in oil. Reclamation will take out the oil degradation products.

Power Factor, 100 o C

An increasing power factor @100 o C is mainly due to ionic species in the oil formed as a result of oil degradation.

Reclamation will take out the oil degradation products.

Inhibitor Content

Inhibitor content decreases over time as this is used up to protect the oil against oxidation. Oil reclamation and severe processing of oil tend to remove inhibitor from the oil.

Add inhibitor only if oil condition is still good. If oil is badly deteriorated, it should be reclaimed first before adding fresh inhibitor

Reclamation: Treatment with an adsorbent such as Fuller’s Earth to take out oil degradation by-products and improve its color. This is always followed by filtration and lastly, vacuum dehydration using a degasifier to improve the oil’s moisture and dielectric values. Inhibitor is added during the degasification step.

Vacuum degasifier treatment: Usually involves filters, heater and high vacuum. Processing temperature must not go above 60 o C as it might vaporize the light fractions of the oil and permanently alter its characteristics.