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FR3™ Fluid

Improve reliability and transformer performance

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Cargill FR3 fluid is a natural ester derived from renewable vegetable oils – providing improved fire safety, transformer life/loadability, and environmental benefits that are superior to mineral oil and unsurpassed by any other dielectric coolant. Because it is derived from renewable raw materials, it has a very low carbon footprint – unequalled by any other dielectric fluid option. FR3 fluid has been used in more than 1 million distribution and power transformers worldwide and is proven in transformers through 420kV. Some of the largest utilities and transformer manufacturers around the world trust their power and distribution transformers to FR3 fluid.

With over one million installations across six continents and validated in over 250 tests, Cargill FR3 fluid has unique features that can provide utilities and their OEM partners the ability to achieve greater cost savings and efficiencies. FR3 fluid meets IEC and IEEE specifications, and is FM Global approved.

Optimize transformer designs

Design smaller transformers to gain increased capacity

The common failure mode of an electrical transformer is caused by the degradation of the solid insulating system (cellulose paper). Subsequently, the (temperature) operating limits of a transformer are constrained by the thermal capabilities of the insulating system within each design.

For transformers filled with mineral oil, the typical average winding rise of the transformer is limited to 55°C (standard paper) and 65°C (thermally ungraded Kraft paper), yielding a hot spot temperature up to 110°C. However, a transformer filled with Cargill FR3 fluid can operate 20°C warmer than the mineral oil equivalent while maintaining the same life expectancy. Compared to mineral oil at the same operating temperature, FR3 fluid actually protects the insulating paper up to 5-8 times longer than mineral oil.

This high temperature capability enables:

  • Increased loadability up to 20% with current transformers
  • For space constrained locations, utilities can increase capacity without having to change their transformers
  • For growing population areas, utilities can increase loadability and maintain performance reliability
  • Design smaller, more efficient transformers that could use less fluid and less construction materials

FR3 fluid high temp

See IEC 60076-14 Part 14: Liquid-immersed power transformers using high-temperature insulation materials. Edition 1.0 September 2013 and IEEE C57.154 Standard for the Design, Testing, and Application of Liquid-Immersed Distribution, Power, and Regulating Transformers Using High-Temperature Insulation Systems and Operating at Elevated Temperature. Published October 30, 2012.

Improved fire safety

High fire point provides safer, more reliable grid performance

Cargill FR3 fluid has a fire point of 360°C, more than twice the fire point of mineral oil. This greatly improves the fire safety for any transformer, particularly in heavily populated areas such as restaurants, malls, and urban communities. Since its introduction, there has been no reported fire-related failure with transformers filled with FR3 fluid.

Cargill FR3 fluid is classified as a K-Class, less flammable fluid by Underwriters Laboratories and approved by FM Global. With this improved fire safety, utilities can:

  1. Reduce clearances to buildings and equipment
  2. Eliminate the need for more costly fire mitigation systems
  3. Potentially reduce insurance premiums and liability reserves

3-fluids fire point comparison

2X Flash and Fire Point

Extend asset and insulation life

FR3™ fluid extends insulation life by a factor of as much as 5-8 times because it has the unique ability to draw out retained moisture and absorb water driven off by aging paper. It also helps prevent paper molecules from severing when exposed to heat. These properties can result in an increase of overloadability and/or longer transformer insulation life, resulting in both lower life cycle cost and delayed asset replacement.

Paper Samples

Superior environmental benefits

Readily biodegradable, non-toxic helps protect the environment

FR3 fluid not only provides reliable performance and increased fire safety, but it is also an excellent option to help utilities protect the environment in their communities.

  • Made from 100% renewable vegetable oil
  • Readily biodegradable as designated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
  • Non-toxic in both oral toxicity tests and aquatic toxicity tests
  • Contains no petroleum, halogens, silicones or sulfurs
  • Has a reduced carbon footprint – 56x less carbon emissions than mineral oil
  • Carbon neutral according to Building Environmental Economic Sustainability (BEES) lifecycle analysis

Renewable Leaf         

Given the inherent environmental benefits of Cargill FR3 fluid, it is an ideal option for sustainable performance at low cost and suitable for areas such near waterways, highly populated areas, and near parks or other outdoor community areas.

Furthermore, there are many remediation techniques used in cleaning up spilled chemicals. Some, like bioremediation, can be quicker and cheaper than more common mineral oil remediation techniques prevalent in the utility industry today. The use of bioremediation is a superior technique for cleaning up spills of FR3 fluid because it is a biodegradable vegetable oil.

The products and services described on this website may not be available in all jurisdictions or to all persons.