To facilitate the rebuilding of electrical infrastructure in areas affected by Hurricane Katrina, Cooper Power Systems reported that it has increased production of all transformers, in particular Envirotran™ EF transformers, to meet anticipated high demand. Envirotran EF transformers are filled with Envirotemp® FR3™ fluid, a bio-based transformer oil made from soybeans that can minimize the potentially damaging impact of hazardous material in hurricane-vulnerable areas.
Cooper Power Systems is giving priority to the new orders associated with the Katrina rebuild effort. “This is a time when we all need to take steps to assist in the recovery of the Gulf region,” said Henry Hecker, director, Transformer Products, Cooper Power Systems. “Cooper Power Systems is reserving production and product planning space to specifically meet the needs of those utilities involved in rebuilding the affected areas. By supplying transformers filled with FR3 fluid, we can assist the utilities to rebuild their system in a manner that is friendlier to the environment.”
Envirotemp FR3 fluid would not detrimentally contribute to the mix of chemicals spilled during natural catastrophes such as Hurricane Katrina. In addition, the high fire point of FR3 fluid greatly reduces the likelihood of a fire occurring in association with a failed transformer. There have been no recorded fires from Envirotemp FR3 fluid, the fluid used in Envirotran EF transformers.
Petroleum is the base fluid for traditional mineral oil-based transformers, which represent the majority of transformers damaged or destroyed in the states affected by Hurricane Katrina. Reports indicate that Hurricane Katrina knocked out 90% of the petroleum production in the Gulf region and a significant portion of the nation’s refining capacity. Even a partial conversion by utilities to the use of bio-based oil in transformers will reduce demand for petroleum, not only at times when supply is tight, but also on an ongoing basis.