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Why is Oil Used for Coolant?

11/30/2015 1:19 PM

When we come across power converters in solar panel applications or transformers on electrical lines, why is oil used for cooling instead of other fluids? I would assume it is an oil designed for cooling rather than lubrication, sealing, or cushioning. But I would think there would still be better fluids than oils for heat transfer.

Can anyone shed light on this subject for me please?

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#1

Re: Why is oil used for coolant?

11/30/2015 1:36 PM

Transformer oil or insulating oil is an oil that is stable at high temperatures and has excellent electrical insulating properties. It is used in oil-filled transformers, some types of high-voltage capacitors, fluorescent lamp ballasts, and some types of high-voltage switches and circuit breakers. Its functions are to insulate, suppress corona and arcing, and to serve as a coolant.

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#4
In reply to #1

Re: Why is oil used for coolant?

11/30/2015 2:25 PM

transmission fluid is too expensive

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#2

Re: Why is oil used for coolant?

11/30/2015 1:50 PM

I never thought about the protection of the electrical side. Makes perfect sense now. Thanks!

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#3

Re: Why is oil used for coolant?

11/30/2015 1:51 PM

Oil is used because:

1. It is non-corrosive therefore it will not cause and will help prevent oxidization of components.

2. The cost is very low.

3. It is not electrically conductive therefore it will not cause shorting or grounding of the conductors.

4. It maintains heat conducting properties throughout a wide range of temperature values.

5. It presents a very low environmental risk when compared to other cooling fluids.

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#5

Re: Why is oil used for coolant?

11/30/2015 2:34 PM

Good place to store PCBs

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#6

Re: Why is oil used for coolant?

11/30/2015 4:28 PM

oil will not freeze in outdoor lines

oil is not corrosive, like water or antifreeze is.

oil insulates

oil is cheap,

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#7

Re: Why is Oil Used for Coolant?

12/01/2015 6:03 AM

There is also the fact that the oils used do not boil at 100C.

Saw the result of a "cooling" line run at 120C with water. Catastrophic issues when ruptured and turned to steam. (Process temperature was over 240C)

The lines in a solar system could conceivably get hotter than 100C, so using oil is safer.

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#8

Re: Why is Oil Used for Coolant?

12/01/2015 9:01 AM

For specific applications, there there are better fluids than oils, but the properties of oil and its price make it a good value.

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#9

Re: Why is Oil Used for Coolant?

12/01/2015 11:11 AM

All of the above.

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#10

Re: Why is Oil Used for Coolant?

12/28/2015 5:09 AM

Engine coolant not only cools the internal components of an engine but helps with the oil as well. Coolant passes from the water pump through the engine coolant passages in the block surrounding the cylinders and up through the cylinder heads.

Oil to the valve train returns to the oil pan through holes in the cylinder head, therefore the coolant mixture assists in lowering the temperature of the oil in the process. Additional cooling of the engine oil becomes more of a necessity as engines run at higher revolutions per minute, are turbocharged or by pulling heavy loads.Oil tends to drop in viscosity as it's heated. At the proper temperature range, oil also maintains higher oil pressure and lubricates more efficiently.

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