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# transformer oil

J

#### James Sweet

Jan 1, 1970
0
Will ordinary 10w30 motor oil work ok as transformer oil? This is for some
HV experimenting, not any sort of commercial or permanently installed
product. It's thermally stable and not particularly flammable, but I don't
know how the various additives affect the insulating properties. Is there a
better choice that I can pick up locally for a reasonable price?

A

#### Allodoxaphobia

Jan 1, 1970
0
Will ordinary 10w30 motor oil work ok as transformer oil? This is for some
HV experimenting, not any sort of commercial or permanently installed
product. It's thermally stable and not particularly flammable, but I don't
know how the various additives affect the insulating properties. Is there a
better choice that I can pick up locally for a reasonable price?

Mineral oil.

Jonesy

J

#### James Sweet

Jan 1, 1970
0
Allodoxaphobia said:
Mineral oil.

Isn't that primarily what motor oil is? I can get small bottles of clear
mineral oil at the pharmacy, but it would cost a fortune to get the gallon
or two I need.

D

#### Dave Platt

Jan 1, 1970
0
Mineral oil.
[/QUOTE]
Isn't that primarily what motor oil is? I can get small bottles of clear
mineral oil at the pharmacy, but it would cost a fortune to get the gallon
or two I need.

Motor oil usually contains a complex series of additives, which might
or might not be compatible with electrical applications.

I certainly wouldn't want to buy mineral oil in quantity in the sort
of pint bottles you find at a pharmacy... too expensive that way. The
least expensive place to get pure mineral oil is probably a veterinary
supply store. It's used as a laxative for animals. The cheapest
online price I see in Google is under $11/gallon, which is reasonably competitive with motor oil. Food-grade and animal-grade mineral oil would lack the possible toxicity issues which might come with the additives in motor oil. P #### PeterD Jan 1, 1970 0 Isn't that primarily what motor oil is? I can get small bottles of clear mineral oil at the pharmacy, but it would cost a fortune to get the gallon or two I need. Motor oil usually contains a complex series of additives, which might or might not be compatible with electrical applications. I certainly wouldn't want to buy mineral oil in quantity in the sort of pint bottles you find at a pharmacy... too expensive that way. The least expensive place to get pure mineral oil is probably a veterinary supply store. It's used as a laxative for animals. The cheapest online price I see in Google is under$11/gallon, which is reasonably
competitive with motor oil.

Food-grade and animal-grade mineral oil would lack the possible
toxicity issues which might come with the additives in motor oil.[/QUOTE]

If you want to go cheaper, get hydraulic oil. It is about 10 wt (bit
thinner than 30 motor oil) but has virtually no additives.

J

#### James Sweet

Jan 1, 1970
0
PeterD said:
If you want to go cheaper, get hydraulic oil. It is about 10 wt (bit
thinner than 30 motor oil) but has virtually no additives.

Cool, thanks, I ought to be able to find that locally. The thing I'm trying
to avoid is shipping, these days it will double the cost of a gallon of oil
which is irritating.

A

#### Arfa Daily

Jan 1, 1970
0
James Sweet said:
Cool, thanks, I ought to be able to find that locally. The thing I'm
trying to avoid is shipping, these days it will double the cost of a
gallon of oil which is irritating.
A lot of motor oil is totally synthetic now. I wonder what the electrical
and RF characteristics of it are like, compared to traditional motor oil.
Does this synthetic stuff have all of the cling enhancing additives and
whatnot in it, or is it formulated to be superior in this respect in the
first place ? In fact just what *is* it made of ? It seems to stay an awful
lot cleaner than 'real' engine oil. I have used conventional stuff for
cooling a high power RF dummy load, and have not had any high voltage issues
with it. It would be interesting to do a microwave oven test on both normal
and synthetic motor oil to see how bad they are at absorbing RF.

Arfa

J

#### James Sweet

Jan 1, 1970
0
A lot of motor oil is totally synthetic now. I wonder what the electrical
and RF characteristics of it are like, compared to traditional motor oil.
Does this synthetic stuff have all of the cling enhancing additives and
whatnot in it, or is it formulated to be superior in this respect in the
first place ? In fact just what *is* it made of ? It seems to stay an
awful lot cleaner than 'real' engine oil. I have used conventional stuff
for cooling a high power RF dummy load, and have not had any high voltage
issues with it. It would be interesting to do a microwave oven test on
both normal and synthetic motor oil to see how bad they are at absorbing
RF.

Arfa

While getting a little off topic http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synthetic_oil

It does seem to hold up better. I run it in my cars, it makes a difference,
especially in the one with the old oil cooled turbo, that thing glows orange
when worked hard and would cook conventional oil dark black in 3K miles, now
I run synthetic for 5K and it's only brown by the time I change it.

J

#### Jamie

Jan 1, 1970
0
James said:
While getting a little off topic http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synthetic_oil

It does seem to hold up better. I run it in my cars, it makes a difference,
especially in the one with the old oil cooled turbo, that thing glows orange
when worked hard and would cook conventional oil dark black in 3K miles, now
I run synthetic for 5K and it's only brown by the time I change it.
ha
I know some one that owns a dodge Ram that now should have well over
100K miles on it..

After the first 5k miles or so, he started to use 100% synthetic oil,
and all he does at oil changes is replaces his filter and adds to what
ever he loses in the process.
He has well over 100K doing this. His engine sounds like new still and
has never had any thing done to it other than normal things that break
down like starters, alternators, belts, hoses etc..

R

#### Ross Herbert

Jan 1, 1970
0
:Will ordinary 10w30 motor oil work ok as transformer oil? This is for some
:HV experimenting, not any sort of commercial or permanently installed
roduct. It's thermally stable and not particularly flammable, but I don't
:know how the various additives affect the insulating properties. Is there a
:better choice that I can pick up locally for a reasonable price?
:

Perhaps you should first do some reading on the properties of transformer oil
before making an arbitrary decision to use automotive grade oil in your
transformer. The old and venerable J&P Transformer Book has good information on
this subject. Using the wrong oil may compromise your transformer - and your
insurance if it bursts into flames.

Long url so watch line wrap.

http://books.google.com.au/books?id...sig=XgLKbHHlA3M-7JJZcbCT7tp7DZI&hl=en#PPP1,M1

J

#### James Sweet

Jan 1, 1970
0
Perhaps you should first do some reading on the properties of transformer
oil
before making an arbitrary decision to use automotive grade oil in your
transformer. The old and venerable J&P Transformer Book has good
information on
this subject. Using the wrong oil may compromise your transformer - and
your
insurance if it bursts into flames.

Long url so watch line wrap.

http://books.google.com.au/books?id...sig=XgLKbHHlA3M-7JJZcbCT7tp7DZI&hl=en#PPP1,M1

Hey that looks like a pretty handy book.

LOL as for insurance, if they saw the "transformer" in the first place,
they'd probably crap a brick sideways. I think the oil bursting into flames
is the least of my worries with this unarguably dangerous concoction. At any
rate it will never be used for more than a few tens of seconds at a time,
and only while closely supervised. What fun is life without a little risk of
being vaporized?

H

#### hr(bob) [email protected]

Jan 1, 1970
0
Hey that looks like a pretty handy book.

LOL as for insurance, if they saw the "transformer" in the first place,
they'd probably crap a brick sideways. I think the oil bursting into flames
is the least of my worries with this unarguably dangerous concoction. At any
rate it will never be used for more than a few tens of seconds at a time,
and only while closely supervised. What fun is life without a little risk of
being vaporized?

How about giving us a little bit more of a clue as to what you're
hatching!

M

#### Michael A. Terrell

Jan 1, 1970
0
James said:
Will ordinary 10w30 motor oil work ok as transformer oil? This is for some
HV experimenting, not any sort of commercial or permanently installed
product. It's thermally stable and not particularly flammable, but I don't
know how the various additives affect the insulating properties. Is there a
better choice that I can pick up locally for a reasonable price?

Don't you have a oil wholesaler or transformer shop in your area?
Sometimes a call to your electric company can get you a quart or two
from the bottom of a 55 gallon drum for free. They have to top off and
change the oil in large transformers from time to time and buy it in
bulk. The last time I needed some, I got it from the R&D lab at a local
Steel mill, in Ohio.

--
Service to my country? Been there, Done that, and I've got my DD214 to
prove it.
Member of DAV #85.

Michael A. Terrell
Central Florida

J

#### James Sweet

Jan 1, 1970
0
How about giving us a little bit more of a clue as to what you're
hatching!

6 matched microwave oven transformers in series to provide approx 12KV at 10
KVA or so. I've seen it done, with the transformers submerged in oil to
prevent arcing to the core. It only needs to run for a short period to
bombard a neon tube, mostly around 300mA output, but ideally I'd like to get
around 800mA max. The whole thing will be powered by a 50A 240V circuit with
the current regulated by an arc welder in series with the output shorted.

The alternative would be winding my own transformer, but I already have a
pile of MOTs and they were free.

Yes, the output from this thing would be absolutely lethal if touched, do
not attempt this at home.

J

#### James Sweet

Jan 1, 1970
0
Don't you have a oil wholesaler or transformer shop in your area?
Sometimes a call to your electric company can get you a quart or two
from the bottom of a 55 gallon drum for free. They have to top off and
change the oil in large transformers from time to time and buy it in
bulk. The last time I needed some, I got it from the R&D lab at a local
Steel mill, in Ohio.

That's another thought. There's probably one out in downtown Seattle
somewhere, most of those sort of places are only open during the 9-5 period
I'm at work so it's probably easier to just mail order it unless I can find
something suitable at a hardware store or something else local that's open
evenings or weekends.

J

#### Jeff Dieterle

Jan 1, 1970
0
James Sweet said:
That's another thought. There's probably one out in downtown Seattle
somewhere, most of those sort of places are only open during the 9-5
period I'm at work so it's probably easier to just mail order it unless I
can find something suitable at a hardware store or something else local
that's open evenings or weekends.
If I wasn't going to the trouble to find transformer oil, which is mineral
oil based with a high flashpoint, my 2nd choice would be mineral oil as
somebody else stated, 3rd choice would be automatic transmission fluid
before using motor oil. The detergent properties of motor oil which keeps
contaminants in suspension could compromise it's insulating qualities.

W

#### William Sommerwerck

Jan 1, 1970
0
A lot of motor oil is totally synthetic now.

No, most of it is still petroleum-based. But almost every oil company has a
synthetic product.

W

#### William Sommerwerck

Jan 1, 1970
0
Why don't you just find a company dumping its PCBs in the local lake, and
pick up some?

---- The Lady from Philadelphia

A

#### Arfa Daily

Jan 1, 1970
0
William Sommerwerck said:
No, most of it is still petroleum-based. But almost every oil company has
a
synthetic product.
Sorry William, but that's just pedantic semantics ...

Apart from which, I haven't owned a car in god knows how many years, that
hasn't specified a synthetic product for its lubrication.

Arfa

W

#### William Sommerwerck

Jan 1, 1970
0
Sorry William, but that's just pedantic semantics...

"A lot" suggests a high percentage -- perhaps 25%. I doubt 25% of all motor
oil sold is synthetic. Or even 20%.

Apart from which, I haven't owned a car in god knows how many
years, that hasn't specified a synthetic product for its lubrication.

You said "specified". You mean that synthetic oil was supplied with the
vehicle, and was the preferred lubrication?

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