Reducing usage of fossil-oil-based insulating liquids in power transformers to deliver environmental, safety, and financial benefits.

Impact: Society and culture, Economic, Policy, Environmental


Research at The University of Manchester has improved the sustainability of the UK power industry by reducing the use of fossil-oil based insulating liquids (i.e. mineral oils) in power transformers. This has resulted in safer, greener and more reliable transformers with increased life span and minimised maintenance. These solutions include using biodegradable ester-based insulating liquids in new transformers, regenerating existing transformer mineral oils, and enabling the design, manufacture, testing and operation of high voltage ester-filled transformers in the National Grid. This has directly led to:- increasing sales of ester liquids for M&I Materials [text removed for publication];- improved sustainability of Electricity North West Ltd.’s distribution network by reducing the use of new fossil-oil based insulating liquids, leading to investment savings of GBP32,000,000 for the company;- development of two international industry-regulating standards; and- production of three technical brochures which are used globally as industry best practice guides.
Impact date1 Aug 201631 Jul 2020
Category of impactSociety and culture, Economic, Policy, Environmental
Impact levelAdoption

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Energy