Why FR3 Fluid
For the performance you want and the reliable power your communities need, FR3 fluid beats mineral oil—it’s that simple
Mineral oil has helped light and power the globe for more than 120 years. But for decades, another option has proven better. FR3 dielectric fluid—derived from 100% renewable vegetable oils—delivers what transformer mineral oil can’t: peace-of-mind reliability with exceptional performance, improved fire safety, and better-for-the-planet biodegradability, along with related cost savings.
FR3 fluid’s superiority over mineral oil can benefit you and the communities you serve. Get FR3 fluid details.
Designed to deliver—with none of the drawbacks of mineral oil.
You may think that mineral oil is a “good enough” insulating fluid for your transformers. But isn’t it really just the devil you know? Using mineral oil comes with significant risks—of devastating pool fires, dielectric failure due to low moisture tolerance, a quick darkening of the oil if the transformer is overloaded, and costly environmental damage in case of leaks or spills.
Since these risks are always present when you choose transformer mineral oil, “not good enough” may be just one week, one day, or even one minute away.
Ultimately, the risk won’t be worth it—and the consequences may be serious, to people, equipment, and your reputation. With FR3 fluid, you avoid the pitfalls that accompany mineral oil and get a superior dielectric fluid with measurable, validated, verified results.
Grid resiliency that pays in more ways than one
A transformer’s solid insulation system and its dielectric fluid constrain its (temperature) operating limits. Because of FR3 fluid’s properties, transformers containing this natural ester can operate up to 20°C warmer than can mineral-oil-filled equivalents—enabling increased loading capability by up to 20% (or even more in some cases). When a transformer is designed to use FR3 fluid, this increased capacity may be even higher. Not only can FR3 fluid help you respond to fluctuating power demand, it won’t accelerate asset aging and may extend transformer life.
Superior performance from moisture tolerance
Intruding moisture (such as from a leak), “free” water in insulating fluid (as in cold-temperature environments), or water released from aging insulation paper can drop capacity and cause dielectric failure in mineral-oil-filled transformers. With a much higher saturation point (compared to transformer mineral oil), FR3 fluid will rarely cause transformer failure due to moisture. In fact, its unique chemical properties, and the fact that that, during hydrolysis, FR3 fluid actually absorbs free water, slows the aging process of a transformer’s solid insulation.
Dramatically improved fire safety
While transformer pool fires may seem rare, they occur much more frequently than you might know. And when they do occur, the consequences can be catastrophic, even involving casualties. With significantly higher flash and fire points than transformer mineral oil—over twice as high—FR3 natural ester fluid keeps equipment and people safer when it comes to transformer fires. In fact, over decades of use in millions of transformers worldwide, there have been ZERO reported pool fires in transformers filled with FR3 fluid.
The best-in-class environmental properties, hands down
Mineral oil spills can have devastating effects on the natural environment—animals, plants, water, and people included. Unlike mineral oil, FR3 fluid is nontoxic in water and soil, is nonhazardous, and it quickly and thoroughly biodegrades.1 These factors result in simpler spill remediation efforts—making FR3 fluid incontestably better than transformer mineral oil for the earth, communities, and your budget, not to mention your business’s reputation.
Delivering business value
There are a number of different critical reasons why partnering with Cargill and using FR3 fluid instead of mineral oil is good for business, including increased grid reliability and resilience, better cost management with a more effective transformer system, and minimized environmental impact.
Find more about how using FR3 fluid throughout your transformer fleet can deliver significant business value, while serving communities reliably and effectively.
Retrofill: Get benefits by ditching mineral oil
Retrofill your current mineral-oil-filled power and distribution transformers with FR3 fluid and get safety, performance, and environmental benefits, plus extend the life of your transformers. Ask us how simple the switch can be.
Safer, Cleaner, More Cost Effective Transformers
Find out why more utilities are switching from mineral oil to FR3 fluid.
Oil In: Vegetable Beats Mineral (2014)
Learn how and why Brazil’s CPFL Energia transitioned from mineral oil to FR3 fluid.
Achieve Greater Continuous Load Capacity
Read how Cargill and Tamini helped Italy’s Terna better handle demand fluctuations.
1. FR3 fluid is nontoxic in water and soil according to OECD 203 Method B and OECD-420, respectively. It is nonhazardous according to GHS. FR3 fluid “thoroughly degrades” according to EPA OPPTS 835.3100, EPS OPPTS 835.3110, and OECD 301.
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