Degradation and chemiometryc models

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Considering the difficulty in taking samples of insulating paper of transformers, the evaluation of the degradation of cellulose through the analysis of the products of its degradation (furans) dissolved in the oil has been pursued. The furans are formed by the ends of the polymeric chain of cellulose.

Insulating materials in transformers are of two types:
  • Fluid insulation: oil
  • Solid insulation: Kraft paper (cellulose)
This two materials of organic nature are able to provide their function correctly only when they maintain their chemical integrity when the transformer is in operation. For this reason, analytical methods have been developed to establish the rate of degradation of the oil by sampling the transformer in operation as well as methods of treatment to re-establish the chemical/physical features of the oil.
For what the paper is concerned, sampling is very complicated due to the unacessibility of the cellulose inside the transformer. This type of sampling is performed only when extremely complex maintenance operations are carried out, involving the full dismantling of the transformer. Thus, samplings of paper are extremely rare in comparison with oil sampling. Consequently, studies have been made to correlate the level of degradation of the paper with the products of its degradation (essentially thermal) dissolved in the oil.

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