First, I'd like to thank everyone for their help. It's been quite
On the advice of Bert Pool, I made quite a few phone calls to oil
distributors. I found that Tulco Oil, in Arlington, Texas, sells Lubesnap
100 for $24.95 in 5 gallon pails, and they will ship UPS.
A local distributor here in southern California, Temecula Oil, was able to
find Diala AX (thanks for mentioning that one, Jim!) packaged in 5 gallon
pails for $27.93. Seeing as how Diala AX is specifically designed as a
transformer oil, I decided to opt for that.
Yes, it is more expensive than kerosene, but it should be worth it in the
long run. It's just a better quality insulator. Seems like it would be
better to build it right the first time, than risk all the materials on a
lower-quality insulating oil.
Anywho, just thought I'd share my findings with everyone. I'm not sure how
many coilers are still making poly/aluminum/oil capacitors, but I think
it's fun just for the novelty of it. =)
Thanks again, everyone.
At 12:05 AM 5/1/00 -0600, you wrote:
>Original Poster: "Jim Lux" <jimlux-at-jpl.nasa.gov>
>Transformer oil is flammable too... One of the biggest reasons they went to
>Askarels (PCB) in the first place was that it was inert, good dieletric
>properties, and nonflammable. Particularly in Europe, where distribution
>substations tend to be in closer proximity to dense residential areas,
>there were some oil fires causing spectacular damage. (Hence the popularity
>of SF6 Gas Insulated Switchgear (GIS) and air blast circuit breakers. cf.
>"Circuit Breakers", Scientific American, Jan 1970 issue (I think)).
>Neither of them will burn if its all liquid and there isn't any air, even
>if there is a spark. In fact, oil circuit breakers use the decomposition
>products of the oil (mostly hydrogen gas) to blow out the arc. It is true
>that kerosine has a lower flash point than transformer oil, but it's still
>pretty high. I dare you to light a bucket full of kerosine on fire with
>just a match and no wick or preheating. It's hard enough with a kerosine
>If you were interested in a nonflammable dielectric liquid, you could use a
>PCB that has been carefully cleansed of the toxic dioxins (It's the
>contaminants that are the problem, not the PCB itself), or a silicone oil
>(most of which are non-flammable) such as one of the Fluorinerts (but,
>OTOH, they run $100/gallon).
>I also noticed that most oils run about the same price per gallon,
>regardless of their molecular length, in large quantities (about
>$3/gallon). Drums of kerosine cost about the same as drums of Diala AX.
>Really, only gasoline is notably cheaper (in the US) due to the large
>production volume. (Untaxed raw gasoline (white gas/petroleum naptha) is
>about $.50/gallon in tanker lots) and economies of scale. I suspect the
>same would be true in Europe for the pre-tax price, but the VAT system
>makes it a bit tougher to figure out.
>Actually, while researching some largish volumes of a variety of liquids
>for a former employer, I discovered that almost everything in a tanker
>(>1000 gallon lots) costs about $2-4/gallon... Sulfuric Acid, Ethylene
>Glycol, Corn Syrup, Methanol, White USP Mineral Oil... The manufacturing
>and transportation costs dominate the cost of the raw materials.
>This has important implications for those people still using mineral oil as
>an insulator to make capacitors (instead of MMCs). Find a bunch of
>co-oleophiles and do a group buy. If you are in the Los Angeles area, I
>can point you to sources.
>> Original Poster: Megavolt121-at-aol-dot-com
>> Jim, all-
>> Wouldn't it not be a good idea to use kerosene(or anything flammable)
>> "soak" your capacitors or transformers w/? I mean if you do get one spark
>> from a short or burn through wouldn't you just create a big fire/mini