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A brighter future for India with clean energy

FR3™ dielectic fluid helps provide a more environmentally friendly power source for over 500,000 customers

May 04, 2015

We’re living in an age when mobile phones, the Internet, and content streaming over the Web have become ubiquitous for many people. For others, however, these are still luxuries they can only dream about.

1.2 billion people worldwide still don’t have access to electricity, and nearly one-third —or 400 million — live in India1. And yet, the demand for energy continues to expand. Last year, the government launched the “Make in India” initiative to boost manufacturing capacity. 

This brings about another major hurdle, which is to increase energy capacity without compromising air quality. India ranked 174 out of 178 countries on air pollution in 20142. In Delhi alone, air pollution kills 3,000 children every year.

This widening gap between supply and demand for energy combined with the country’s alarming state of air quality makes it critical for India to expand its power supply in an environmentally friendly manner.

Last year, one of India’s largest integrated power companies became the first in the country to incorporate a natural ester dielectric fluid into its electrical transformers system. 

The vegetable-based fluid, Cargill’s Envirotemp™ FR3™ transformer oil, is biodegradable, non-toxic and non-hazardous in soil and water. As it is made from a renewable resource, the fluid is carbon neutral and results in 56 times less carbon emissions than mineral oil3. This helps provide a more environmentally friendly power source for over 500,000 residential and industrial customers. This number is anticipated to grow as the FR3 fluid is expected to penetrate five to seven percent in the Indian market over the next five years.

“The Indian market is very exciting for Cargill,” said Dave Roesser, the company’s global general manager of dielectric fluids. “We’re working with various Indian utilities and OEMs* to implement the technology.”

To date, FR3 fluid has been installed in over 750,000 transformers in power and distribution transformers on six continents. On top of its green benefits, the fluid provides improved fire safety for densely populated areas within the power service area.

Petroleum-based oils used in this application have a fire point of 160 degrees centigrade, while FR3 fluid's fire point is 360 degrees centigrade. This dramatically reduces the chances of a transformer catching fire.

And because the FR3 fluid has a high temperature capability, transformers filled with it can handle up to 20 percent increased load capability or extend the insulation life 5 to 8 times longer than mineral oil. This enables utilities to design smaller, more efficient transformers without sacrificing reliability, resulting in a lower total cost of ownership.

For India, it all results in energy that is cleaner, greener, and has real staying power.

*Original Equipment Manufacturers
2 Yale Environmental Performance Index 2014
3 According to BEES 4.0 lifecycle analysis