Increasing demand of electricity and high consumption of natural fuel resources has raised countless challenges for the electricity industry. For years, transformers were equipped with mineral oil for better and lasting performance but the recent uncertainty about the future of oil availability is motivating the researchers to find out the “Green Insulating Oils” for transformers. Thus, green insulating oils are being probed with great interest at research centers worldwide. In this paper, Canola oil was studied for applications in transformers as a sustainable solution. The paper also compared the proposed oil with mineral oil by studying the initiation and propagation of streamers in the oils when subjected to standard lightning impulse voltages. It also presents experimental results of a comparative study of initiation and propagation of streamers in canola seed based oil and mineral insulating oil when subjected under standard lightning impulse voltages. Moreover, streamer patterns, modes of propagation and their stopping lengths were investigated under both polarities of voltage in point-plane electrode gap. The paper concludes with six different findings, which states that canola oil is a better and sustainable choice of oil for transformer use.
Key words: Breakdown, impulse voltage, oil, seed based insulating oil, streamer propagation.