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Most mineral oil dielectric fluids contain an added oxidation inhibitor which is a chemical additive that acts as a preservative. The purpose of the inhibitor is to prevent oxygen from reacting with the oil, thus slowing the aging rate of the oil (and also of the solid insulation). The two most common oxidation inhibitors used in transformer oils are 2,6-ditertiarybutyl para-cresol (DBPC) and 2,6-ditertiary-butyl phenol (DBP).
A significant and growing risk for unplanned outages and lost production has been increasing in the past decade due to failures of critical power transformers. With plant capacity running at all-time highs in the US, and little room for unplanned outages, it is more critical than ever that transformer reliability become front and center of any effective reliability program.