Transformer oil is an insulating lubricant which serves as a coolant and is utilized in the functioning of an electricity-powered transformer. Transformer oils are suitable for increasing cooling performance and decreasing electrical clearances in myriad applications as it is long-lasting and remains consistent at even high temperatures.
Transformer oil is acquired from crude oil by a process called the fractional distillation, and it offers multiple benefits such as high resistivity, chemical stability, excellent di-electricity, least power loss, and thermal conductivity. In extension, the transformer oil protects the core and winding of the transformer.
Let’s take an in-depth look at the global market for transformer oil.
The Major Growth Drivers of the Industry
The global market for transformer oils is witnessing a transformation due to the growth in demand for oil-filled transformers. This growth in augmented by the rising energy demand, electrification, and increased industrial usage of transform oil in developing markets. The growth is further increased due to the improved infrastructure finance for energy access. Other major growth driving factors include growing power consumption and investment in the power industry. Besides these factors, the significant demand for technologically advanced electronic devices along with the huge disposable income of the growing population has increased the energy requirement in developed markets. The need for structural stability of a transformer has also contributed to the rise in the carbon black industry.
The substitution of aging transformers in Europe and North America is presumed to further stimulate the market for transformer oil. The transformer oil market size is expected to reach $ 3.39 billion by 2022, growing at a CAGR 8.3 percent over the projected period.
Restraints in the Industry
Application of transformer oil and other related substitutes have a low reception rate in several regions, which poses to be an important factor hampering the growth of the transformer oil market. Furthermore, the fluctuating raw material costs as well as installing essential equipment from a long-term outlook might hinder people from investing in the transformer oil market having less disposable earnings.
Another growth hindering factor includes the rising utility of dry and smart transformers as an alternative. These smart transformers do not necessitate the utilization of transformer oil and can operate independently. With all the complexities in mind, various companies are producing futuristic and quality innovations in accordance with the creation of transformer oil. This could deter the impact of most of the restraints influencing the transformer oil market, and boost the industry.
The transformer oils market is mainly driven by five regions namely Asia Pacific, North America, Europe, Latin America, and the MEA. Out of the five regions, Asia Pacific is the leader in the transformer oil market due to the development of energy frameworks to meet the growing demand for power along with rapid urbanization and industrialization in the developing nations such as India and China. China has emerged as a global manufacturing market for transformers oil, and it has strengthened its industrial production and accelerated the supply and efficiency of transformer oils.
In the case of developed regions such as the U.S. and Europe, significant investments were made in infrastructure during the 1980s. Thus, revamping of the existing transformers is expected to fuel the demand for transformer oil in these regions. Moreover, technical upgradation and modernization of various plans will boost the demand for transformers oils in Canada.
Divisions in the Transformer Oils Market
The market for transformer oil is divided into three sections mainly mineral oil-based, silicone oil-based, and bio-based. The mineral oil-based division is sub-segmented into paraffinic and naphthenic. The use of paraffinic transformer oil is the highest owing to its quick accessibility, and it is widely used in transformer mechanics due to its high-grade oxidative resistance and intense heat viscosity properties. However, there have been several types of environmental problems with mineral oil-based transformer oils due to the production of disposal waste. This has directed to an expansion in the growth of substitute varieties of transformer oil, i.e., bio-based and silicone-oil based.
The price of the transformer oil varies according to the quality of the transformer oil and the specifications implemented. The specification is dependent on the end-user target, which could either be as a distribution transformer or a power transformer, i.e., premium oil requirement. Since the market for transformer oil is highly reliant on raw material expenses such as base oil feedstock, any disruption in the base oil market negatively affects the suppliers of transformer oils as well. This volatility acts as a challenge to new participants that hold a fixed capital and administration system. However, the existing large suppliers do not come across such an issue as they have the capacity to assimilate costs during feedstock inconsistency.
The transformer oil market is anticipated to grow further due to the upcoming demand for more energy and increased demand for state-of-the-art electricity infrastructure. Due to this, most organizations are concentrating on producing safe bio-based transformer oils from a marketing prospect, which can be sold at competitive rates.