Today, the demand for a dependable energy supply is more important than ever. As a result, equipment like turbines must work relentlessly round the clock at maximum performance to keep companies competitive, productive and profitable. As a result, it is understood that for operations where turbines are used, a major concern is unplanned downtime when equipment requires repairs or replacement parts.
To avoid interruption to daily processes and avoid the expense of costly repair work and system downtime, turbines need reliable lubrication from high quality turbine oils from expert manufacturers. In this blog, we’ll explore five different tips in detail which form the cornerstones of turbine oils system care and maintenance. Read on to keep your knowledge up to date and sure your operation gets more from its turbines while running them at peak efficiency.
Keeping your turbine oil and system clean
A critical component of extending both the active service life of the lubricant and your equipment is turbine oil cleanliness. Over time contamination is an issue that all equipment must contend with. While operating, unwanted debris of varnish and other deposits can build up and have a negative impact if they are not removed, for instance they can reduce the service life of bearing and gears and inhibit the operation of servo valves which can lead to poor performance and damage leading to system downtime. Contaminants can also promote system foaming, which reduces the effectiveness of the turbine oil by lessening its properties.
To avoid all these unwanted scenarios, it is essential that maintenance operators inspect lubrication systems and turbine oils frequently at regular intervals. As a result, companies can be sure that their filtration system is in good working order.
Awareness of water contamination
Varnish and sludge deposits are not the only contaminant that turbine oil systems must cope with, water is another issue that operators must be aware of.
If water present cannot separate from the turbine oil, an oil-water or free water emulsion is created and can interfere with the turbine oil film required to support the loads being carried by the equipment’s bearings. The negative impacts of water in turbine oil systems are manifold. It can promote corrosive forces such as rust, causing damage to innerworkings, but also speed up how fast turbine oil oxidises, causing increased drain intervals which means more maintenance and downtime. Water also promotes other degradation processes like hydrolysis lessening the performance of the turbine oil.
To mitigate this issue, the best practice is to always monitor water levels in the system using a reliable oil analysis programme. During this process, it is advised that water contamination limits are checked off against the original equipment manufacturers’ recommendations. However, more generally water levels should always remain below 1,000 ppm for steam turbine applications and 500 ppm for gas turbines.
Analysing your oil
Any turbine oil in use on site must be continuously subjected to both proactive and informed oil analysis monitoring. Turbine operators can find guidelines for monitoring the condition of their oil readily available from multiple sources. These include leading lubricant suppliers and original equipment manufacturers, among others.
It is vital for any operation involving turbines which encounter a leak to take immediate action. As soon as any trace of an oil leak is identified, it must be tracked down to the source. When the leak’s point of origin has been found, the leakage should be eliminated as soon as it is possible. There are many points in a turbine oil system which are commonly linked with leaks. When checking for the source of leaks, consider potential sources such as bearing seals, valve connections, oil supply lines and cooler tube joints.
Maintaining up to date and accurate records
When turbine operators keep accurate records, they remain alert to sudden changes which can facilitate faster investigation when a problem arises. enable quick investigation. Detailed records must be kept on temperature and water and oil flowing from and to the turbine coolers. Oil levels in reservoirs must be noted as well as oil return from the turbine’s main bearings. Turbine operating hours should be listed, as well as figures for oil inlets and purification equipment. Oil condition must be accounted for, and service hours and laboratory results recorded. Amount and time of make-up oil which is added to the system and when filter changes take place are important. Finally, service hours and any repairs or replacement parts fitted should also be noted.
By following these vital care and maintenance tips, you can keep your turbine oil system operating at top performance and avoid lengthy downtime. Always remember when selecting a turbine oil for your system to first consider your original equipment manufacturer (OEM) recommendation. Using the correct product and proper application method will support your aim of keeping both your turbine oil and equipment in the best condition possible.