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Open AccessReview

Methanol Marker for the Detection of Insulating Paper Degradation in Transformer Insulating Oil

1
Institut de Recherche d’Hydro-Québec (IREQ), Varennes, QC J3X 1S1, Canada
2
Research Chair on the Aging of Power Network Infraestructure (ViAHT), Université du Québec à Chicoutimi (UQAC), Chicoutimi, QC G7H 2B1, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Energies 2019, 12(20), 3969; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12203969
Received: 12 August 2019 / Revised: 11 September 2019 / Accepted: 19 September 2019 / Published: 18 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Power Transformer Condition Assessment)
This manuscript presents a comprehensive literature review with the aim to provide readers a reference document with up-to-date information on the field of methanol use as a chemical marker. It has been a little more than a decade since methanol was first introduced as a marker for assessing solid insulation condition in power transformers. It all started when methanol was identified in the laboratory during thermal ageing tests carried out with oil-immersed insulating papers and was subsequently also identified in transformer field samples. The first publication on the subject was released in 2007 by our research group. This review covers the methanol fundamentals such as the analytical methods for its determination in transformer oil, which is generally performed by headspace gas chromatography with mass spectrometry or flame ionization as a detector. Current standardization efforts for its determination include ASTM working group 30948 and IEC TC10. Kinetic studies have confirmed the relationship between methanol generation, the number of broken 1,4-β-glycosidic bonds of cellulose and changes in mechanical properties. Laboratory tests have confirmed its stability at different accelerated ageing temperatures. Several utilities have identified methanol during field measurements, case studies on power and some distribution transformers are presented, as well as transformer postmortem investigations. These field-testing results demonstrate its utility in monitoring cellulosic insulation degradation. Recently, a model of methanol interpretation has become available that allows for evaluation of the average degree of polymerization of core type transformer cellulose winding. Methanol has a role as an indicator of cellulosic solid insulation ageing in transformer mineral oil, and it is expected that in the future it will be in routine use by utilities. View Full-Text
Keywords: methanol; cellulose degradation; insulating oil; kinetics; transformers; mechanical properties; postmortem methanol; cellulose degradation; insulating oil; kinetics; transformers; mechanical properties; postmortem
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MDPI and ACS Style

Jalbert, J.; Rodriguez-Celis, E.M.; Arroyo-Fernández, O.H.; Duchesne, S.; Morin, B. Methanol Marker for the Detection of Insulating Paper Degradation in Transformer Insulating Oil. Energies 2019, 12, 3969.

AMA Style

Jalbert J, Rodriguez-Celis EM, Arroyo-Fernández OH, Duchesne S, Morin B. Methanol Marker for the Detection of Insulating Paper Degradation in Transformer Insulating Oil. Energies. 2019; 12(20):3969.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Jalbert, Jocelyn; Rodriguez-Celis, Esperanza M.; Arroyo-Fernández, Oscar H.; Duchesne, Steve; Morin, Brigitte. 2019. "Methanol Marker for the Detection of Insulating Paper Degradation in Transformer Insulating Oil" Energies 12, no. 20: 3969.

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