Maintenance crewmember inspecting wind turbine

Efficient Operations

Wind turbines near a beach

Getting Your Wind Turbines in Gear

Wind turbine design alone goes only so far to optimising blade rotation. The gearbox plays a crucial role in keeping the turbine operating at the speed necessary to maintain a cost-efficient flow of power drawn from the world’s atmosphere.

Gearbox optimisation can help unlock the full potential of a wind turbine’s efficiency and ensure that the energy it captures is stored and distributed resourcefully.

Protecting the heart of the machine

If a gearbox breaks down, the wind turbine is out of action, which can lead to expensive repairs and unwanted downtime.

Proper lubrication is important to the maintenance and upkeep of the whole operation, since it helps eradicate harmful pressures like surface fatigue – or micropitting – and bearing failure.

The importance of lubrication

As an expert partner, Shell Lubricant Solutions can help demonstrate how lubrication could improve wind-turbine effectiveness through advanced gearbox maintenance, and how a high-performance lubricant can help to extend the lifespan of the gearbox.

For example, Shell Omala S5 Wind 320 is a synthetic wind turbine gear oil designed to help lessen gear and bearing damage, while delivering exceptional lubrication performance, increased efficiency, and improving the reliability of the gearbox. With a highly diverse operating temperature range, the oil is designed to operate effectively under severe operating conditions and in extreme climates. Its advanced formulation provides enhanced protection1 - up to 14 times better corrosion prevention than a key competitor product2 – to help avoid unplanned downtime and the associated repair costs. Shell Omala S5 Wind also has excellent performance against yellow metal materials which makes it fit for purpose as well as for new plain bearing gearbox designs. The oil also has a 10-year warranty, meaning the gearbox requires only one oil change rather than the industry-standard two during the turbine’s lifecycle.

All of this adds up to helping ensure reliable operations, while managing total cost of ownership.

1 In comparison to a conventional mineral oil

2 Tested by Shell Lubricants Technology with ASTM D2893 against Exxon Mobil SHC XMP 320

Related content

End-to-End Wind Power Solutions

When it comes to optimising wind power operations, prioritise an effective maintenance strategy.

Product & Services

Boost your wind turbine performance with maintenance solutions designed to protect and developed to perform.

Shell Omala

The main gearbox is central to a wind turbine’s performance. Discover how Shell gear oils can protect the main gearbox in addition to yaw and pitch gearboxes.

Shell LubeAnalyst

Don’t risk unnecessary downtime by overlooking your gear oil. Discover our oil condition monitoring service that provides insights to improve maintenance practices.

More in Shell Lubricants Solutions

Shell Lubricants Services

Explore the insights, innovation and collaboration that have helped inform our suite of lubricant services, and see how they can help move your business forward.

Shell Lubricant Applications

Explore the range of Shell Lubricant products that help maximise equipment efficiency, prolong vehicle life and reduce downtime.

Wind Power

Designed to thrive in remote locations and developed to perform in extreme conditions. Explore our range of specialised wind power solutions.