Chemical PCP found in older Electrical Transformers

  • Thread starter Seth Vogt
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I worked for the Public Utilities company last summer, and we were tasked with taking inventory around the entire city, of all the transformers. We wrote down as much info as we could about the transformers, including Serial Number and whether or not it contained PCP's. From what I understood, the PCP-containing transformers would be replaced with non-PCP transformers. What is this PCP chemical? Is it dangerous? What purpose did it serve in the transformer if it could replaced with the non-PCP transformers? I want to know more about this information so I can effectively communicate exactly what we were doing last summer in a job interview if anyone asks. Thanks so much for any information!
 

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  • #2
Bystander
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First: PCB. Not PCP. Stands for polychlorinated biphenyl. A flame resistant heat transfer compound.
 
  • #3
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Thank you for the clarification! So this "flame resistant heat transfer compound" isn't necessary in newer models then? Why were they replacing the PCB-containing transformers?
 
  • #4
SteamKing
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Thank you for the clarification! So this "flame resistant heat transfer compound" isn't necessary in newer models then? Why were they replacing the PCB-containing transformers?
Because the PCB material was toxic and stayed in the ground and water when released, and it accumulated in plant and animal tissues, causing certain deleterious effects on health.

PCBs are now banned.

This article gives a good discussion of fluids used to cool transformers then and now:

http://apps.geindustrial.com/publibrary/checkout/Dielectric?TNR=White Papers|Dielectric|generic

For more general info:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transformer_oil
 
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