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21, rue d’Artois, F-75008 PARIS http : //www.cigre.org A2-202 CIGRE 2008 TYPE MOISTURE ASSESSMENT IN

21, rue d’Artois, F-75008 PARIS http : //www.cigre.org

A2-202

CIGRE 2008

TYPE MOISTURE ASSESSMENT IN TRANSFORMERS INCLUDING OVERLOADING LIMITS

Mario Scala Siemens Transformers Austria, Weiz Austria

SUMMARY

A moisture model determines the moisture distribution in cellulose and oil. The model focuses on oil

flow, moisture vapour pressure and the saturation properties of oil and cellulose. Measurements of material properties form the basis of each computation model. Direct measurements were performed. Samples of paper and pressboard were aged in oil. The measurements of moisture absorption were performed in air. For given moisture content the moisture vapour pressure reaches

lower values than in previous results. Consequently moisture values in oil reach lower values and the risk of bubbling at rising temperatures reduces.

It

has, for the first time, been established that bubbling requires a contribution of dissolved gas like air

to

reach critical vapour pressure levels to obtain bubbling at 150 °C hotspot and with 3 % average

moisture content and 1,2 % in the hotspot respectively. Here oil must absorb one atmosphere air at 70°C. Without dissolved gas an average moisture content of 4 % and a hot spot temperature of about 165 °C would be necessary to come close to a risky condition. The low tendency to bubbling is also favoured by the reduced moisture content in the winding hotspot insulation which is caused by the temperature distribution due to axial oil gradient and winding gradient. The general calculation for individual spots in the transformer insulation like the hotspot is based on the moisture vapour pressure of cellulose and oil as the driving force of moisture migration. The axial temperature distribution however generates an axial gradient of moisture vapour pressures in oil. The cellulose insulation reaches the moisture pressure level of its neighbouring oil. The average cellulose moisture content provides basic information about the moisture condition. The calculation model is required to determine the moisture values in a transformer under operation

conditions. Aging and bubbling considerations are based on the moisture content of the hotspot . Filling of a transformer with oil often happens at a moisture content of 5 ppm. At low temperatures and slow moisture diffusion into the bulk material the cellulose surface can develop extremely high moisture values. Therefore a high temperature during filling is recommended. Furthermore a transformer can, in principle, absorb moisture from the atmosphere or vice verse. The direction of migration is determined by the difference of local moisture vapour pressure between oil and atmosphere which depends on temperature and moisture. The slow migration velocity at low temperatures and tightness of the tank limits the value to below 7 % moisture content in cellulose.

KEYWORDS

Overloading, moisture, vapour, pressure, hotspot, temperature, aging, paper, cellulose, bubbling

mario.scala@siemens.com

1

Moisture vapour pressure

Water evaporates – a well known fact. The vapour pressure is determined by the temperature of water.

In equilibrium and with water and vapour at the same temperature the vapour pressure saturates. At

increasing water temperatures the vapour pressure p 0 (T water ) increases exponentially. The moisture vapour pressure p 0 (T water ) remains unchanged in spite of heating of the atmosphere above the water - e.g. heating by sunshine over the sea. Therefore moisture vapour pressure p at = p 0 (T water ).

The temperature difference between water and vapour makes the atmospheric vapour pressure unsaturated. The grade of unsaturation is expressed by the relative humidity, defined by the ratio of vapour pressure of moisture p at versus vapour pressure of water p 0 (T vapour ) , however with T as the temperature of the vapour instead of the water:

Relative humidity rh [%] = 100 . p at / p 0 (T)

(1)

p

at

[hPa]

Moisture vapour pressure in atmosphere

p

0

[hPa]

Vapour pressure of pure water (saturation value)

T

[°C]

Temperature of moisture vapour in atmosphere

This example demonstrates that the relative humidity value differs at different temperature levels of the vapour, whereas the moisture vapour pressure p at itself remains constant.

A similar process takes place in oil and cellulose. Moisture flows between both components until the

moisture vapour pressure of oil and cellulose reaches equilibrium. In addition to this a second effect must be considered. In loaded condition oil flows through the windings to transport the losses from the heated parts to the cooler. This oil flow includes a moisture flow. But in equilibrium there is no more exchange of moisture between cellulose and oil possible.

Therefore the moisture content of oil W oil [ppm] must be constant. Consequently an axial temperature gradient of the oil must generate a moisture vapour gradient in oil. This gradient is based on the properties of oil.

pressboard pressboard winding winding cylinder cylinder 73 73 73 73 73 73 cooler cooler 60
pressboard
pressboard
winding
winding
cylinder
cylinder
73
73
73
73
73 73
cooler
cooler
60
60
60
60
60
60
60
60
47
47
47
47
47
47
47
47
vvvvv
vvvvv
vvvvv
vvvvv
a) a)
oil temperature [°C]
oil temperature [°C]
b) b)
vvvvv
vvvvv
vvvvv
vvvvv
oil: 41 ppm oil: 41 ppm 41 41 41 41 41 41 35 35 35
oil: 41 ppm
oil: 41 ppm
41 41
41
41 41
41
35
35
35
29
29
29
29
29
29
vvvvv
vvvvv
vvvvv
vvvvv
vvvvv
vvvvv

moisture vapour pressure [hPa]

moisture vapour pressure [hPa]

Figure 1: example of temperature and moisture vapour pressure in a transformer

In the solid insulation of the windings the moisture tends to migrate until the moisture vapour pressure

attains equilibrium with the individual values at top, middle and bottom positions of the winding in

accordance with figure 1. It is well known that a transformer in operation generates a temperature gradient between this winding insulation and oil – the so called winding gradient caused by the thermal resistance of paper and oil. Therefore figure 1 must be extended with figure 2 describing schematically such a winding spot with constant moisture vapour pressure. Note the different quantities of moisture content in cellulose [%] and oil [ppm]. The hotter insulation side causes the lower moisture content. Thus the moisture vapour pressure equilibrates and reaches the same level.

The considerations above focuses on the combination of oil flow and moisture vapour pressure as driving force to generate moisture equilibrium. Now a link must be achieved to correlate moisture vapour pressure and moisture content in oil and cellulose.

winding gradient copper paper o i l
winding
gradient
copper
paper
o i l

a) temperature distribution

moisture

content

ppm % copper paper o i l
ppm
%
copper
paper
o i l

b) moisture distribution

moisture

vapour

pressure

Figure 2: equilibrium between winding insulation and local oil with laminar flow

2 Properties of oil

p

oil

[hPa]

Moisture vapour pressure in oil

W

oil

[ppm]

Content of moisture in oil

S

oil

[ppm]

Saturation value of moisture in oil (W oil )

Similar to the pressure of dissolved gas in oil the vapour pressure of moisture in oil increases linearly with both the gas and moisture content dissolved in oil:

or

equation 2b indicates equality of relative moisture content and relative moisture pressure – the relative humidity value in the atmosphere. The correlation is more complicated because the saturation of moisture in oil increases with temperature in an exponential manner according to equation 3 and is also dependent on oil quality

p oil = p 0 . W oil / S oil

(2a)

p oil / p 0 = W oil / S oil

(2b)

Soil [ppm] = 10 6 . 10 1567 / (T + 273,15) 1,09

according to IEC 60422

(3)

and aging condition. These effects are known as state of the art. Both p 0 (T) and S oil (T) show a sharp increase with rising temperatures. Therefore the temperature influence on the ratio p 0 / S oil - applied in equation 2a - causes a moderate increase of moisture vapour pressure in oil for a given moisture content W oil as indicated in figure 1b.

3 Properties of cellulose

The complex structure of cellulose offers various possibilities for moisture absorption. It is not necessary to give a scientific explanation of absorption effects here. For transformer application a practical correlation between moisture content W and moisture vapour pressure p is of interest. Often this sorption curves are measured in an oil free condition. There is a common understanding that oil molecules do not disturb the absorption characteristics of moisture in cellulose. But there is no doubt that the dynamics of moisture absorption are hampered - the process requires at least a factor of 5 times or more.

p

c

[hPa]

Moisture vapour pressure in cellulose

p

0

[hPa]

Vapour pressure of pure water (saturation value)

W

c

[%]

Content of moisture in cellulose (% weight of dried material)

S

c

[%]

Saturation value of moisture in cellulose (W c )

T

 

[°C]

Temperature of cellulose

Direct measurements - performed as Diploma Thesis at the University of Graz - see figure 3. While pressboard indicates an influence of aging the effect is not as significant as that in the case of paper. Both “thermally upgraded” and “non-thermally upgraded” paper show the same performance. Pressboard samples with 1 and 4 mm thickness do not differ.

Pressboard T IV B 3.1 2 mm 60 °C 12 10 8 DP = 1120
Pressboard T IV B 3.1
2 mm
60 °C
12
10
8
DP = 1120
6
DP = 1050
4
DP = 560
DP = 320
2
Eq. 4
0
0
20
40
60
80
1 00
W
[%]C

p/p 0

a) pressboard

Upgraded Paper Cottrell Kraft TU 0,125mm 60 °C 12 10 8 DP = 1200 6
Upgraded Paper Cottrell Kraft TU
0,125mm
60 °C
12
10
8
DP = 1200
6
DP = 1160
4
DP = 480
DP = 407
2
Eq. 4
0
0
20
40
60
80
1 00
W
[%]C

p/p 0

b) paper

Figure 3: Moisture content in cellulose versus relative moisture pressure (humidity in air) Parameter: aging condition “Depolymerisation number DP” ( New : DP = 1000-1200)

Moreover the hysteresis effect was measured. After a doubling of the moisture level from W c = 2,4 to 4,8 % by a change in the relative humidity from 11 to 40 % , the following second 11 % value was shifted to W c = 2,7 % . This difference of 0,3 % was practically not influenced by cellulose quality, thickness and aging condition. In the practical life of a transformer the hysteresis effect should never exceed this 0,3 % value. Both hysteresis and thickness influence cannot replace the aging effect in pressboard. Obviously the intensity of aging effect depends on material quality. In previously documented results, effects were observed both in paper and pressboard.

The measurements reveal deviations to earlier results [1, 2] derived from previously documented results. The earlier formulas [2] were adapted as follows:

W c

1

= ⋅

S c

2

p

p

⎜ ⎝

c

0

⎞ ⎟

⎟ ⎠

0 . 505

+

1

2

p

⎜ ⎜

p

⎟ ⎟

0

c

with S c [%] = 100

. 10 280 / (T + 273,15) 1,67

3 .57

(4)

(5)

As already known the moisture saturation value S c of cellulose (equation 5) decreases with increasing temperatures contrary to oil (equation 3). Oversaturation of moisture in cellulose requires increasing temperatures!

The quantity W c /S c , the relative moisture content in cellulose according to equation 4, is not really used in previously documented results. Contrary to oil there are no sensors to measure the relative moisture content W c /S c . The application of W c /S c compensates temperature and aging effects similar

to oil. In this connexion it may also be advantageous for the assessment of breakdown voltage strength

on account of the fact that the temperature influence could be reduced.

Figure 4a shows the comparison to oil – while fig. 4b indicates the absolute moisture content. These results indicate a lower vapour pressure as applied before. There is a small level of uncertainty present in the temperature range below 25°C and exceeding 90 °C. Here direct measurements were not possible. In the range above 90 °C the vapour pressure might be a little smaller than the formulas predict. But this trend would not affect the conclusions reached in the following section.

A second critical comment refers to the aging procedure in oil. After aging all samples were treated in

the kerosene oven to ensure they were free of immersed oil to obtain clean samples for accurate

determination of weight. Influences of this treatment were not checked.

1 0,9 0,8 0,7 oil 0,6 0,5 0,4 cellulose 0,3 0,2 0,1 0 0 0,2
1
0,9
0,8
0,7
oil
0,6
0,5
0,4
cellulose
0,3
0,2
0,1
0
0
0,2
0,4
0,6
0,8
1
W / S

p/p 0

a)

20 18 T [°C] = 20 16 60 14 100 12 140 10 8 6
20
18
T [°C] = 20
16
60
14
100
12
140
10
8
6
4
2
0
0
0,2
0,4
0,6
0,8
1
W
[%]C

p/p 0

b)

Figure 4: Relative and absolute moisture content in cellulose versus relative moisture pressure in cellulose 20 – 140 °C. At equilibrium and same temperatures:

p/p 0 equal to” humidity in air” or ”relative moisture vapour pressure in oil”or “relative moisture content in oil W oil /S oil acc. equation 2b

4 Equilibrium condition in transformers

At a constant temperature level cellulose and oil equilibrates achieving a constant moisture level both in cellulose and oil. The values of figure 1 are extended in figure 5. The computation results are based

are extende d in figure 5. The computation results are based vvvvv vvvvv 73 73 97

vvvvv

vvvvv

73 73

97 97

80 80

71 71

73 73

60 60

47 47

47 47

vvvvv 73 73 97 97 80 80 71 71 73 73 60 60 47 47 47

vvvvv

vvvvv

a a 1 ) )

1

T a = 20

T

= 20 °C

°C

a

oil: 43 ppm oil: 43 ppm 41 41 hPa hPa “12“ “12“ 1,3 1,3 2,3
oil: 43 ppm
oil: 43 ppm
41
41
hPa
hPa
“12“
“12“
1,3
1,3
2,3
2,3
1,8
1,8
3,1
3,1
2,1
2,1
4,2
4,2
“27“
“27“
vvvvv
vvvvv
20°C: “77“
20°C: “77“
vvvvv
vvvvv

b

b )

1 )

1

20°C: “77“ 20°C: “77“ vvvvv vvvvv b b ) 1 ) 1 vvvvv vvvvv 93 93

vvvvv

vvvvv

93 93

117 117

100 100

91 91

93 93

80 80

67 67

67 67

vvvvv

vvvvv

117 100 100 91 91 93 93 80 80 67 67 67 67 vvvvv vvvvv a

a a 2 ) )

2

T a = 40

T

= 40 °C

°C

a

oil: 95 ppm

oil: 95 ppm

) 2 T a = 40 T = 40 °C °C a oil: 95 ppm oil:

115

115

1,4

1,4

1,9

1,9

2,1

2,1

hPa

hPa

2,4

2,4

3,1

3,1

4,1

4,1

1,4 1,9 1,9 2,1 2,1 hPa hPa 2,4 2,4 3,1 3,1 4,1 4,1 vvvvv vvvvv “15“

vvvvv

vvvvv

“15“

“15“

“31“

“31“

vvvvv

vvvvv

20°C: “170“

20°C: “170“

b

b )

2 )

2

vvvvv 20°C: “170“ 20°C: “170“ b b ) 2 ) 2 148 148 126 126 115

148 148

126 126

115 115

115 115

98 98

82 82

vvvvv

vvvvv

115 115

82 82

vvvvv

vvvvv

115 115 98 98 82 82 vvvvv vvvvv 115 115 82 82 vvvvv vvvvv a 3

a 3 ) T a =40

a

3

) T

a

°C overload

=40 °C overload

oil: 178 ppm

oil: 178 ppm

a °C overload =40 °C overload oil: 178 ppm oil: 178 ppm 267 267 1,2 1,2

267

267

1,2

1,2

1,6

1,6

1,9

1,9

hPa

hPa

2,2

2,2

3,0

3,0

4,2

4,2

1,2 1,6 1,6 1,9 1,9 hPa hPa 2,2 2,2 3,0 3,0 4,2 4,2 vvvvv vvvvv “16“

vvvvv

vvvvv

“16“

“16“

“38“

“38“

vvvvv

vvvvv

20°C: 20°C: “320“ “320“

b

b )

3 )

3

Figure 5: example of moisture values at varying ambient temperature T a and 127 % overload Start: unloaded transformer. Averaged theoretical moisture content:

Cellulose: W c = 3 %

a) simplified temperature values [°C] in winding, pressboard cylinder and oil

Oil at 20 °C: W oil = 5,5 ppm , W oil /S oil = 10 %

b) corresponding moisture values:

- absolute moisture content in cellulose W c [%]

- relative moisture content in radiator oil “W oil /S oil [%]” at top, bottom and 20 °C

- absolute moisture content W oil [ppm] ; moisture vapour pressure [hPa]at top

on nine cellulose mass elements with individual temperatures to determine winding insulation and non self heating cellulose parts as winding cylinders. Total mass of cellulose: 7500 kg, oil: 45000 kg. The axial temperature distribution allows moisture to move from top to bottom. Maximum moisture level at bottom: W c = 4,2 % instead of 3 % in the averaged unloaded condition. At the top the moisture level of non self heating cellulose is about 2,3 %. In addition the winding gradient reduces the moisture level in the winding insulation. At overload both effects increase and the moisture level in the winding hotspot additionally decreases. Resulting moisture level in hotspot: 1,2 % . Only the middle position of the non heated insulation remains close to that of the unloaded condition.

5 Interpretation of moisture measurements

5.1 Relative moisture

In figure 5 the relative moisture content in oil also corresponds to the moisture content in cellulose according to figure 4b. Therefore a measurement of the relative moisture content in oil – the convenient measurement technique of online sensors – provides information about the moisture content in cellulose but without temperature gradient to oil. Here oil and cellulose temperatures are the same. Attention must be paid to the sensor temperature. Oil at the radiator top provides information of the cellulose at the top position. As seen in figure 5 this moisture level is smaller than the average moisture level in the pressboard cylinder. Averaging the top and bottom values comes closer to that value with a trend of overestimation. The direct determination of the relative moisture content at bottom oil temperature directly indicates risk of oil break down. In addition to this the sensor device also gains the highest sensitivity.

5.2 Laboratory measurement

A relative oil measurement at laboratory temperature level does not provide realistic information. Here

a recalculation to the absolute moisture content is necessary. For that purpose the temperature

characteristic of the sensor device must cover the current oil properties. As an alternative a Karl Fischer titration could be performed. In any case the specific oil saturation characteristic of the oil in the current condition and oil temperatures should be known to estimate the cellulose moisture level for given operating temperatures during sampling.

Moreover oil sampling at very high temperature levels increases the risk of oversaturation and condensation of moisture in the probe which could lead to a wrong moisture interpretation. In figure 5 two relative moisture values show oversaturation at 20 °C (100 %)! In that case a convenient oil break down measurement at room temperature does not provide a realistic representation of the transformer condition. With this in mind the corrections of moisture content in oil according IEC 60422 must be reviewed

critically. In 6.4.4.2 the thermal conversion to a theoretical 20°C cold transformer shows a good result

in figure 5 case a 1 , but bad results in a 2 and a 3 .

5.3 Combination with calculation

The determination of the moisture content due to the winding gradient requires knowledge of the moisture vapour pressure. This information allows the computation of the values shown in figure 5 for given insulation temperatures. Note: the determination of the cellulose temperature values is not trivial because parts like spacers in windings lie between temperatures of winding conductors and oil. The absolute moisture content is also necessary for dynamic calculations – which are not part of this paper.

In oil immersed cellulose the slow diffusion velocity of moisture hampers the equilibrium process. Moisture in oil is only an image of the cellulose surface.

At least – independent of measurement methods online or offline (as PDC) - all these considerations demonstrate the necessity of calculation models to determine the moisture level in the hot spot to provide aging and bubbling information.

6 Bubbling

The moisture vapour pressure is the basic force to generate bubbles at increasing temperatures.

Principally the intrinsic pressure p int exceeds the external pressure p ext similar to boiling of water exceeding 100 °C (figure 6).

The external pressure (1000-1200 hPa) is the sum of atmospheric pressure (range 1000 hPa) and hydrostatic pressure (up to 200 hPa in a transformer). In oil the intrinsic pressure is the sum of dissolved gas (air) p gas and moisture p c or p oil . Besides there is a physical effect hampering bubbling. In order for the transition from dissolved condition into a bubble to occur interfacial tension

must be overcome [3]. In oil the increased surface tension of micro bubbles would require an increased internal pressure. At solid surfaces the interfacial tension of a liquid is often reduced. Here bubbling is more likely to occur with cellulose as the source of moisture at rising temperatures. Moreover the generation of bubbles, as a consequence of a moisture flow from cellulose to oil, favours larger volumes of insulation to generate bubbles in an advantageous size. Therefore loaded conductors with a thick insulation and a fast rate of temperature rise stimulate bubbling. A dynamic effect was observed in [4] with an extremely fast temperature increase. In the following considerations the influence of the interfacial tension p σ is considered to be negligible.

In the example of figure 5 the highest moisture vapour pressure of 267 hPa lies far below the external pressure of 1000-1200 hPa. An increase of the average moisture value from 3 to 4 % , OD-cooling – generating a smaller difference between top and bottom oil, a temperature increase to 129 °C hot oil respectively 165°C winding hotspot (W c = 1,9 %) causes a rise of the moisture vapour pressure into the 1100 hPa range. After consideration of these extreme conditions the impression remains that bubbling needs the contribution of dissolved air or other gas. Air dissolved in oil saturates with the atmospheric pressure at the oil level of an open conservator. The pressure decreases during a fast rise of temperature without equilibration with the atmosphere. Each 45°C temperature rise reduces the pressure by about 20 % [2] due to thermal shift of Ostwald

coefficients. Therefore saturation of air at 25 °C generates 640 hPa at a hot oil of 115 °C. Saturation at 70 °C however generates 800 hPa at a hot oil temperature of 115 °C. This level would be

p ext p int
p
ext
p
int

Figure 6

180 160 140 p= 1200 hPa p= 900 hPa 120 p= 600 hPa 100 p=
180
160
140
p=
1200
hPa
p=
900
hPa
120
p=
600
hPa
100
p=
300
hPa
80
0,1
1,0
W C [%]
10,0
T [°C]

Figure 7: Bubbling inception temperature vs. cellulose moisture content W c for critical moisture vapour levels p c

necessary to come close to the critical value of 1100 hPa (267 + 800 = 1067 hPa). We can summarize the moisture criterion of

bubbling:

p c + p air > p ext (+ p σ )

Figure 7 determines the moisture content W c to gain a certain moisture vapour pressure p c . For a large power transformer without dissolved gas the maximum threshold for p c (= p ext – p air ) holds a value of 1200 hPa. Dissolved air reduces that value.

(6)

7

Exchange with atmosphere

Moisture absorption from the atmosphere can be caused by moisture diffusion through gaskets. The direction of moisture flow - into or out of the transformer - depends on the local moisture vapour pressure level of the transformer oil and the atmosphere. Moisture migrates to the lower level. The value depends on the oil temperature - an example was given in figure 1b.

Table I gives an impression of the criterion of moisture absorption. For simplification the values are based on the average oil temperature rise and average moisture content.

Table I: criterion of moisture absorption from atmosphere (50 % humidity) ΔT av : average oil temperature minus ambient temperature W c,av : average moisture content in cellulose at unloaded condition

ΔT av [K]

0

10

20

30

40

50

60

W

c,av [%]

< 7

< 4,8

< 3,3

< 2,4

< 1,8

< 1,3

< 1,0

Typical ΔT av values at rated load: 45 K respectively 53 K for OD-types. Therefore at rated load the moisture level - generated by aging - could be reduced by a drying effect – indicated by moistening of the inner side of the silica gel-device. But drying decreases with decreasing oil temperature in the conservator. Generally the slower moisture diffusion at lower temperatures hampers intensive moistening.

8 Oil filling

A moisture content of 5 ppm is a convenient value for the oil used for filling a transformer. Table II shows the cellulose moisture value at the surface after immersion with oil:

Table II: Filling of a transformer with mineral oil and 5 ppm moisture content. Initial moisture content at cellulose surface depending on temperature

T

[ °C ]

60

40

20

0

-20

W

c,surface [%]

1

1,6

2,9

~ 5,8

~ 15

After equilibration this moisture content will diffuse into the total insulation volume with a contribution of less than 0,1 % moisture content. Note, however, that the migration velocity at low temperatures is slow. Therefore the filling procedure recommends a warm temperature.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

[1]

W. A. Fessler, T. O. Rouse, W. J. McNutt, O. R. Compton “A Refined Mathematical Model for Prediction of Bubble Evolution in Transformers” (IEEE Transactions on Power delivery, Vol. 4, No. 1; January 1989)

[2]

M. Scala, G. Buchgraber, W. Seitlinger “Transformer Overloading, utilizing an on-line thermo- hydraulic Transformer Model” Cigré Symposium Shanghai 8-10 April 2003, presented at Cigré Symposium Slovenia: Development and operation of interconnections in a restructuring context”, Ljubljana 4-6 April 2004

[3] T. V. Oommen “Bubble Evolution from Transformer Overload” (IEEE Insulation Life

Subcommittee, Niagara Falls, Canada, October 17, 2000) M. Koch, S. Tenbohlen “Der Bubble-Effekt und das Risiko eines dielektrischen Fehlers in Leistungstransformatoren” (ETG “Diagnostik elektrotechnischer Betriebsmittel” 19.-20. September 2006, Kassel, BRD)

[4]