HOME Top Market Reports Transformer Oil Market, by Types (Mineral Oil – Naphthenic & Paraffinic, Silicone, and Bio-based), Applications (Small & Large Transformers, Utility) & Geography – Global Industry Trends & Forecast to 2018

Transformer Oil Market, by Types (Mineral Oil – Naphthenic & Paraffinic, Silicone, and Bio-based), Applications (Small & Large Transformers, Utility) & Geography – Global Industry Trends & Forecast to 2018

By: marketsandmarkets.com
Publishing Date: June 2014
Report Code: EP 1422

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Transformer oil is a dielectric fluid mainly used in oil filled electrical transformers as an insulating and cooling medium. It is usually obtained by fractional distillation and subsequent processing of crude oil. The primary purpose of transformer oils is to insulate and cool the transformer windings and core. These also preserve the core and winding as these are fully immersed in the oil and prevent contact of oxygen with the cellulose paper insulation of windings, which has high affinity towards oxidation. Three basic types of transformer oil used are mineral oil (mostly naphthenic), silicone, and bio-based. Mineral oil based transformer oils dominate the consumption as it has good electrical and cooling properties, and provides cost-effective solution.

The report segments the market based on geography (Asia-Pacific, North America, Europe, ROW); types (mineral oil–naphthenic and paraffinic, silicone, and bio-based); and applications (small transformers, large transformers, and utility), and provides market forecast in terms of consumption (thousand liters) and revenue ($million) for aforesaid segments.

The global transformer oil market revenue is estimated to reach $2.46 billion by 2017. Major factors responsible for market growth include increasing power requirements in developing regions, rising investments, enlargement of electricity grids in developed regions and rising transition towards renewable energy resources. The key concerns in the industry pertain to the corrosive nature of sulfur present in transformer oil and flammable nature of mineral oil based transformer oils. Transformer manufacturers have started using bio-based oil which has higher dielectric strength and flash point, and lower pour point.

The report classifies and defines the consumption of transformer oils in the electrical equipment industry. It covers qualitative data about transformer oil properties and its functions. The report also provides a comprehensive review of major market drivers, restraints, opportunities, winning imperatives, and key burning issues in the market. Key players of the industry are profiled in detail with their recent developments and other strategic initiatives. Some of these include Nynas (Sweden), Ergon (U.S.), PetroChina (China), Calumet (U.S.), and San Joaquin Refining (U.S.).


Increasing frequency of fire accidents in mineral oil based transformers and its non-biodegradable nature has led to an increasing consumption of bio-based transformer oils, which are incombustible and non-toxic in nature. The industry is observing a high rate in adoption of bio-based transformer oil due to these aspects; lately its growing preference is also observed globally.

Bio-based transformer oil is being used in large number of transformers mainly in the North American region due to its excellent insulating and biodegradable nature of the oil. Other attributes leading to high acceptability have been better performance and economic advantage over mineral oil-based transformer oils. Bio-based oils have high fire point, provides increased service life to transformer, and very low cost for spill remediation due to high biodegradability. Bio-based transformer oil is 99% degraded in 21 days. The consumption of bio-based oils is expected to increase at promising rate in the future. Hence, use of bio-based oils as insulating and cooling medium is expected to increase in the next five years.


The report analyzed global market in terms of consumption (thousand liters) and revenue ($million) for the aforesaid transformer oil types by regions and respective major countries; and applications.

    • By Geography
      • Asia-Pacific
      • North America
      • Europe
      • ROW
    • By Types
      • Mineral oil
        • Naphthenic
        • Paraffinic
      • Silicone
      • Bio-based
    • By Applications
      • Small transformers
      • Large transformers
      • Utility
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    Transformer oils are widely used for their salient features such as cooling, insulating, and lubrication in various kinds of transformers and other electrical equipment. Power industry has been growing at a promising rate in past few years. The economic developments in BRIC nations have fuelled demand for various power equipment, accessories, and components. These devices have been designed to serve for long service life, thus requiring a scheduled maintenance at regular intervals. Proper functioning of transformers become very important and critical as it is an essential equipment in the power generation, transmission, and distribution network.

    Growing electricity demand mainly in the developing regions and increasing affinity towards renewable energy sources for generating electricity, demand highly efficient transformers which in-turn raises the demand for transformer oils. Market for transformer oil is mainly composed of mineral, silicone, and bio-based oils of which naphthenic oil, category of mineral oil dominates the market globally.

    In the past few years, a major economy for instance Japan faced natural calamities such as tsunami and earthquake to nuclear disaster in 2011, North America with numerous natural disasters, and Europe with economic turmoil. All these incidents gave rise to many environmental and governmental issues which affected the power sector across various regions. Many nuclear power plants across Japan and Europe were shut down after the nuclear disaster in Japan. Still, the power industry was able to withstand and grow at a promising rate in the past five years.

    Transformer oil or dielectric fluid is usually a highly refined mineral oil (mostly naphthenic) which is stable at high temperatures and has outstanding dielectric and cooling properties. It is mainly used in oil-filled transformers as an insulating and cooling medium. Apart from this application, transformer oil is also used in few types of high voltage capacitors, switchgears, and circuit breakers. The major functions of transformer oils are to insulate, suppress arcing, and as a cooling medium. In oil-filled transformers, the efficiency level is high and power losses are low compared to dry-type. The power losses are almost 47% lesser than that of dry-type transformers as these lack the additional cooling and insulating properties which oil-filled transformers are equipped with.

    The key manufacturers in the transformer oil industry include Nynas AB (Sweden), Ergon Inc. (U.S.), PetroChina (China), Calumet Specialty Products Partners (U.S.), and San Joaquin Refining Co. Inc. (U.S.), which collectively service significant share of the market. Nynas AB and Ergon Inc. are the leading producers of transformer oil. The fluctuation in demand of oil filled transformer industry directly affects the consumption of transformer oils. In recent years, the oil filled transformer industry is growing and is estimated to grow at a promising rate in the next five to six years; hence this market is estimated to show a significant market growth in terms of consumption and revenue. The global market revenue is estimated to reach $2.46 billion by 2017.Positive attributes such as increased oil properties, operating life of transformers, and environmental friendliness will trigger the developments in the industry.

    Transformer Oil Market Consumption Share, By Types & Geography, 2012

    Transformer Oil Market

    Source: MarketsandMarkets Analysis

    This report covers the consumption of transformer oil and its types across various regions. It also shows an overview of the global market by application in the next five years (2012-2017). China, India, and U.S. are the largest consumers of transformer oil 2012, whereas, its consumption is projected to grow at the highest CAGR (from 2012 to 2017) in China and Brazil.

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