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A guide to types of turbine oils and which to select

wind turbine 2

There are many kinds of turbine oils available to purchase from suppliers today, but it is vital that operators always choose the correct product for the specific equipment they use. When selecting the ideal turbine oil for any application, there are certain variables to consider. These include heat, water, contamination, maintenance and the operating hours of the equipment in use.

Using properly maintained, superior quality and well-tested turbine oils will always ensure that the equipment you use enjoys a longer active service life compared to using low-quality products. While the latter options may appear more affordable, they can cost operations dearly in the long term.

When purchasing turbine oils, it is essential that the buyer has a full understanding of the selection process. This means knowledge of both the physical and chemical characteristics of turbine oil that will help them make an informed decision on the best product for their equipment.

Turbine oils by engine type

Different turbine oils are designed to meet the requirements of a variety of turbines.

Gas turbines

The high temperatures present during operation is among the leading causes of premature failure of turbines for large-scale turbine frame units. As a result, thermally robust turbine oils that deliver higher efficiencies and perform effectively at higher temperatures are essential for gas turbines.

Hydro turbines

Hydrolytic stability and the capacity to release water are both key performance parameters that can affect a turbine oil’s active service life. This is because of the constant presence of H2O. Consequently, hydro turbines will typically use ISO 68 or 46 turbine oils.

Aero-derivative gas turbines

This type of turbine presents unique challenges and demand oils that have high levels of oxidation stability.

The composition of turbine oil

In stark contrast to both diesel and petrol engine oils, specific oils engineered for use with turbines are formulated using shed water that enables solid particles present to settle where it is possible to remove them via filtration systems and drains during operation. If properly maintained, it is possible for high-quality turbine oils to last for up to 20 to 30 years, making investing in a superior formula always a worthwhile investment.

Selecting the correct turbine oil for an application should never be taken lightly. Always consider your original equipment manufacturer’s (OEM) recommended specification, or take advice from an experienced distributor with full knowledge of the processes involved in your operation.

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