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Hydraulic Analysis of Oil Spill Control Systems at Electrical Transformer Stations

Author(s): James Li; Celia Fan

Linked Author(s): James Li

Keywords: Oil spill control; Electrical transformer stations; Hydraulic analysis

Abstract: Transformer oil (mixture of paraffins, naphthenes and aromatic compounds) is used to increase the efficiency of the electrical voltage transfer and reduce the moisture and air at electrical transformers. Each year, there is a high probability of spilling transformer oil accidentaly from electrical transformer stations to the water environment in Ontario, Canada. In order to control these spills, oil spill control system are installed at electrical transformer stations. These on-site oil spill control systems, either electrically-or hydraulicallybased, use the concept of different specific gravities between oil and water for oil separation and containment. It is also assumed that the trapped transformer oil in the oil spill control system will be held for a short period of time and subsequent cleanup mechanism will remove the spilled oil. At a non-staffed transformer station in Ontario, Canada, a sudden surge of oil spills may be trapped by its hydraulicaly-based oil spill control system. However, the trapped transformer oil may not be cleaned up right away and may be flushed out during subsequent severe rain storms. The objective of the research project was to investigate the oil trapping performance of the proposed oil spill control system at a Hydro One’s transformer station near the City of Burlington, Ontario, Canada. It focused on the analysis of oil trapping performance of this system during a major spill event as well as the potential flushing of trapped oil from the spill control system under severe storm events. Using a scaled physical model (1: 12) and the actual transformer oil used at the station, the performance of this oil/water separator system was analyzed. The study results indicate that (1) major transformer oil spills can be trapped by the proposed API oil control system under dry and wet weather flow conditions; and (2) the flushing of the trapped oil out of the proposed system is low even by rainfall events more severe than the 100 year design storm.


Year: 2015

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