Detect Signs of Insulating Oil Aging with An Oil Test Cell

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Insulating oils often degrade after a while of operation due to dissolved acids, moisture and contaminants. This lowers the breakdown voltage of the oil and reduces its effectiveness in isolating the conductors. This can cause problems in electrical devices like transformers or capacitors. It is important to determine the reliability of the oil to help you determine if it is necessary to change the insulating oil.


An oil test cell is used to test a sample of the insulating oil. It is used to test for the capacitance, power factor tan delta and dielectric constant of the oil. It consists of a metal cylinder with electrodes inside. Current is applied to the electrodes and its electrical properties is then measured. One popular model is the OTC oil test cell from Doble test instruments. It is portable enough and used together with a tan delta bridge to spot signs of oil aging. You should invest in one to help detect problems early and extend the operating life of your transformers. This lets you save money on transformer replacements or repairs on the electrical system.

Protec Equipment Resources can provide you with the test instruments you need. We have oil test cells, power quality analyzers, insulation testers and more in our inventory. We offer reasonable rental rates and excellent service. Contact us if you need more information about our services.