# FR3 transformer oil

#### knowtankyou

Joined Feb 29, 2016
32
Is there a way to take sunflower or canola oil and process it to be like the FR3 oil.
it seems I would need to buy it in 55 gallon drums if I wanted to buy it commercially.
I would like to not use plain oil, as I understand it will degrade over a few months and attack the transformer steel because of acids in the food grade oil.
I have read that these oils are much better insulators than mineral oil.
any suggestions are appreciated.

Joined Jul 18, 2013
19,393
How much do you actually need? you may find a small quantity of transformer oil at either a motor repair/rewinder used for sump pumps etc or the local Electrical service supplier may help.
Max

#### Kermit2

Joined Feb 5, 2010
4,163
Non organic oils are used for a good reason.

#12

#### jpanhalt

Joined Jan 18, 2008
8,303
FR3 is dyed green. That must mean something good!

The MSDS is not very helpful and lists it as a vegetable oil ester. Recall that biodiesel is a methyl ester of vegetable oil. To get the temperature performance, I suspect it may be a higher alkyl ester and for stability highly saturated.

Conclusion, yes one might make it from vegetable oil, if you knew what it was. Sunflower and canola are highly unsaturated, so they may not be the best starting materials.

John

Joined Jul 18, 2013
19,393
How much do you need?
For what purpose?
Max.

#### tcmtech

Joined Nov 4, 2013
2,868
FWIW I 've been using standard and cheap Hy-tran 303 hydraulic and transmission fluid for oil cooled transformers/motors and experimental high voltage applications for years and never had any problems with it breaking down or negatively affecting electrical gear of any kind.

~$25 -$30 a 5 gallon bucket if you know where to shop.

#### jpanhalt

Joined Jan 18, 2008
8,303
Ah, but it is not environmentally as good as green bio-oil made from vegetables. So sayeth Cargill.

John

#### knowtankyou

Joined Feb 29, 2016
32
The transformer rep told me that the FR3 oil was made from canola oil and that is why I asked.
tcmtech, do you have an idea about the dielectric constant and its breakdown voltage of the 303 hydraulic oil?

#### GopherT

Joined Nov 23, 2012
8,012
By the time bio-sourced chemicals and oils are processed, there is no big savings for our big blue marble. I've seen the math and it isn't pretty in most cases. Even bio-diesel is not a net benefit to Mother Earth and that is made in huge volumes. How much sense does biodiesel make if you have to burn 100 gallons of fossil fuel to generate 110 gallons of biodiesel (plowing, planting, fertilizing, harvesting, transporting, converting to methyl ester, transporting again to refinery, blending into Dino-diesel at a rate of 5%). All so the US government can give ADM and Cargill a 1 dollar per gallon subsidy - because family farmers are paid by Cargill and ADM to write letters to congress and make biodiesel look like a good deal for the almost extinct family farm.

Stop by your local auto parts store and pick up a can of transmission fluid.

#### jpanhalt

Joined Jan 18, 2008
8,303
Not only that, but the transformers run hotter, so there are greater resistive losses.

John

#### tcmtech

Joined Nov 4, 2013
2,868
tcmtech, do you have an idea about the dielectric constant and its breakdown voltage of the 303 hydraulic oil?
No I don't but given whatI have subjected it to with overdriven induction coils and Tesla coil driver circuits it holds up pretty well.

For the price I would say pick up a two gallon jug and do some testing.

#### GopherT

Joined Nov 23, 2012
8,012
The transformer rep told me that the FR3 oil was made from canola oil and that is why I asked.
tcmtech, do you have an idea about the dielectric constant and its breakdown voltage of the 303 hydraulic oil?
What voltage / power are you dealing with?

#### knowtankyou

Joined Feb 29, 2016
32
where do you buy the hy-tran 303? farm and fleet or fleet farm?

#### tcmtech

Joined Nov 4, 2013
2,868
Any farm and equipment supply will have a Hy-Tran oil of some sort. I get mine at Tractor Supply.

SAE 10 motor oil also works pretty well in HV electrical applications too. It has a low viscosity so it flows and saturates into things well plus gives it good convection cooling properties because it can flow easy and it holds a pretty high dielectric value when clean.