Soy Benefits U.S. Military Operations Abroad

February, 2011

Every year new soy-based products come to fruition in addition to finding new applications for existing products. U.S.-grown soybeans have found their way overseas helping support U.S. military operations abroad. Soybean oil plays a major part in electrical transformers at U.S. military bases overseas, including Okinawa and Kadena Air Force Bases in Japan, as well as the U.S. embassy in Nigeria. These electrical transformers help keep the lights on, among other things, at these bases.Dieletric Fluid Military

“A dielectric fluid is used in transformers and has two primary functions,” says David Bingenheimer, Global Product Manager with Cooper Power Systems. “It acts as an electrical insulating medium, and it transports heat generated in the equipment from the ‘hottest areas’ of a transformer, such as the transformer windings and core, to cooling surfaces such as the tank wall.”

Cooper Power System’s dielectric fluid, called Envirotem™ FR3™ fluid, not only helps keep transformers cool, it also helps protect the environment. “The base oil of FR3 fluid is soybean oil. Approximately 95 percent of the fluid volume of FR3 fluid is soybean oil,” says Bingenheimer. “The FR3 fluid is biodegradable, non-toxic and non-hazardous, and has a carbon-neutral footprint.”

The military, like other electrical power consumers, evaluates products based on needs, solutions to known problems and the best total ownership costs. According to Bingenheimer, Cooper Power System’s dielectric fluid is typically selected for its flawless fire safety record. Using it minimizes the risk associated with a transformer failure, potential fire, damage to surrounding area, and resultant power outage.

“I think any time the government endorses a product like this, it sets a good example,” says Bob Haselwood, Kansas farmer and chair of the United Soybean Board’s new uses committee. “It’s soy products like these that the United Soybean Board supports. Each new product means new demand for the U.S. soybean farmer’s product.”

It’s not just the military that uses this soy-based product. FR3 fluid has achieved global use and currently can be found in over 350,000 distribution and power transformers on five continents. For more information on Cooper Power Systems, go to www.cooperpower.com.

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