To assess the insulating property of dielectric transformer oil, a sample of the transformer oil is taken and its break down voltage is measured. The lower the resulting breakdown voltage, the poorer the quality of the transformer oil.
The transformer oil is filled in the vessel of the testing device. Two standard-compliant test electrodes with a typical clearance of 2.5 mm are surrounded by the dielectric oil.
A test voltage is applied to the electrodes and is continuously increased up to the breakdown voltage.
At a certain voltage level breakdown occurs in an electric arc, leading to a collapse of the test voltage.
An instant after ignition of the arc, the test voltage is switched off automatically by the testing device.
The transformer oil testing device measures and reports the root mean square value of the breakdown voltage.
After the transformer oil test is completed, the insulation oil is stirred automatically and the test sequence is performed repeatedly: typically 5 repetitions, depending on the standard.
As a result the breakdown voltage is calculated as mean value of the individual measurements.