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Fire Behaviour of Less-Combustible Dielectric Liquids in a Nuclear Facility

Hellebuyck, Denis H.; van Hees, Patrick LU ; Magnusson, Tommy; Jörud, Fredrik; Rosberg, Daniel LU and Janssens, Marc L. (2016) In Fire Technology 52(2). p.289-308
Abstract

Transformers, modulators and other high voltage electrical equipment are traditionally filled with mineral oil, which serves as a coolant and dielectric insulator. A rising trend is observed globally towards the adoption of less-combustible, bio-degradable transformer liquids at ever increasing voltages and power ratings. This paper presents a study of the fire behavior of five different dielectric transformer coolants: mineral oil, silicone liquid, synthetic ester, and two natural esters. Two types of tests were performed: comparative small-scale tests with two types of pans in the Cone Calorimeter (ISO 5660-1), and intermediate-scale pool fire experiments under the hood of an oxygen consumption calorimeter. The data obtained in this... (More)

Transformers, modulators and other high voltage electrical equipment are traditionally filled with mineral oil, which serves as a coolant and dielectric insulator. A rising trend is observed globally towards the adoption of less-combustible, bio-degradable transformer liquids at ever increasing voltages and power ratings. This paper presents a study of the fire behavior of five different dielectric transformer coolants: mineral oil, silicone liquid, synthetic ester, and two natural esters. Two types of tests were performed: comparative small-scale tests with two types of pans in the Cone Calorimeter (ISO 5660-1), and intermediate-scale pool fire experiments under the hood of an oxygen consumption calorimeter. The data obtained in this study are used in a fire engineering analysis of the evacuation and smoke removal from the 5900 m2 gallery in the planned European Spallation Source in Lund, Sweden. The comparative results indicate a wide range of fire properties for the tested liquids. The heat release rates calculated from the Cone Calorimeter experiments are reasonably consistent with tabulated values, except for the silicone liquid. The latter forms a crust on the liquid surface which significantly impedes combustion. Heat losses from the burning surface to cooler liquid below and pan boundaries have a significant effect on the burning behavior. These scale-dependent phenomena imply that great care should be taken in using small-scale burning data in a fire engineering analysis. Additional work is needed to gain a better understanding of the relation between small-scale tests and large-scale tests, and between the behavior of these liquids in pool fire experiments and that in real fires.

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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Dielectric coolants, Electrical fires, Fire hazard, Fire risk, Less-combustible liquids, Nuclear facilities, Pool fires
in
Fire Technology
volume
52
issue
2
pages
20 pages
publisher
Kluwer
external identifiers
  • Scopus:84959555034
  • WOS:000371644500002
ISSN
0015-2684
DOI
10.1007/s10694-015-0480-3
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
6856b3f4-ac72-4798-bd4a-220c04cdce5b
date added to LUP
2016-09-19 11:23:29
date last changed
2017-01-01 08:34:16
@article{6856b3f4-ac72-4798-bd4a-220c04cdce5b,
  abstract     = {<p>Transformers, modulators and other high voltage electrical equipment are traditionally filled with mineral oil, which serves as a coolant and dielectric insulator. A rising trend is observed globally towards the adoption of less-combustible, bio-degradable transformer liquids at ever increasing voltages and power ratings. This paper presents a study of the fire behavior of five different dielectric transformer coolants: mineral oil, silicone liquid, synthetic ester, and two natural esters. Two types of tests were performed: comparative small-scale tests with two types of pans in the Cone Calorimeter (ISO 5660-1), and intermediate-scale pool fire experiments under the hood of an oxygen consumption calorimeter. The data obtained in this study are used in a fire engineering analysis of the evacuation and smoke removal from the 5900 m<sup>2</sup> gallery in the planned European Spallation Source in Lund, Sweden. The comparative results indicate a wide range of fire properties for the tested liquids. The heat release rates calculated from the Cone Calorimeter experiments are reasonably consistent with tabulated values, except for the silicone liquid. The latter forms a crust on the liquid surface which significantly impedes combustion. Heat losses from the burning surface to cooler liquid below and pan boundaries have a significant effect on the burning behavior. These scale-dependent phenomena imply that great care should be taken in using small-scale burning data in a fire engineering analysis. Additional work is needed to gain a better understanding of the relation between small-scale tests and large-scale tests, and between the behavior of these liquids in pool fire experiments and that in real fires.</p>},
  author       = {Hellebuyck, Denis H. and van Hees, Patrick and Magnusson, Tommy and Jörud, Fredrik and Rosberg, Daniel and Janssens, Marc L.},
  issn         = {0015-2684},
  keyword      = {Dielectric coolants,Electrical fires,Fire hazard,Fire risk,Less-combustible liquids,Nuclear facilities,Pool fires},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {03},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {289--308},
  publisher    = {Kluwer},
  series       = {Fire Technology},
  title        = {Fire Behaviour of Less-Combustible Dielectric Liquids in a Nuclear Facility},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10694-015-0480-3},
  volume       = {52},
  year         = {2016},
}