Three Tips for Effective Turbine Oil Maintenance
To meet the growing power demands of an ever-growing population, gas and steam turbine users want to feel confident that their equipment is reliable, efficient, and delivering peak performance every day.
Proper care and maintenance of turbine oils is critical to avoiding disruptive and potentially costly downtime, and can help extend oil and component life.
Here are three tips to help set you up for success:
1. Select a reliable turbine oil
Choosing a high-performing turbine oil that meets, and ideally exceeds, the recommendations set out by the equipment manufacturer is important for maintaining plant efficiency and helping to lower your total cost of ownership.
2. Keep it clean
Contamination control in any turbine system is paramount for protection of the components.
Contamination from solids can damage bearings and valves, and significantly shorten their lifetimes.
What can you do?:
- Flush the turbine during the initial start-up
- Use an effective filtration system
- Check the proper filtration guidelines with the manufacturer of your turbine system
- Inspect your system regularly
Water contamination can be catastrophic for rotating equipment. In turbines, water can increase the wear on bearings, reducing their life, and can cause rust and corrosion. Water can also increase the rate of oxidation of the turbine oil.
What can you do?:
- Water contamination is easily monitored using oil analysis.
- Check with your equipment manufacturer, but water contamination generally should be kept below 500 ppm for gas turbines and 1,000 ppm for steam turbines.
3. Implement proactive oil analysis monitoring
Proactive oil analysis can give early indications of any issues, to enable you to take action to avoid a breakdown.
Maintaining records and trending your oil analysis will give you a good picture of what is happening in your turbine over time, so you can spot any anomalies.
Many published turbine oil condition monitoring guidelines are available from ASTM, ISO, equipment manufacturers and lubricant suppliers.
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Shell has developed a range of turbine oils that enables users such as power companies and process plant operators to select the oil that will deliver optimum value to their operations through enhanced protection, long oil life and high system efficiency.