We often get asked if synthetic lubricants really are better. The honest answer is that it depends on the application, but in the case of wind turbines, it’s usually yes. The operating conditions of wind turbines come with extremes not experienced in your usual industrial setting. Temperature variances and weather conditions can have a significant impact on the performance of your lubricants, and really put them to the test. Synthetic lubricants are developed to have a number of performance benefits compared to their mineral counterparts.
Synthetic lubricants are engineered to offer extended service life of components and extended drain intervals. Both of these benefits can help wind turbine operators and service companies reduce maintenance and downtime. Synthetic lubricants provide long term bearing and gear wear protection, excellent oxidation stability, corrosion protection and exceptional filterability. In addition, their synthetic base oils offer a much wider operating temperature range than mineral oils.
For offshore wind turbines, the properties of lubricants become even more important. Corrosion and temperature variances can have a severe impact in offshore turbines, and some mineral oils struggle to maintain their performance in these changing conditions. Unscheduled maintenance of offshore turbines is also a more complicated and costly process depending on the weather conditions.
It’s not just the main gearbox oil that you should consider in your wind turbine. Many manufacturers offer synthetic hydraulic fluids and greases, some of which are manufactured specifically for wind turbine applications. By using synthetic technology throughout your turbines, you are providing the highest level of protection for all the equipment components most at risk.
Lubricant technology is developing at an increasing pace. By embracing new technology and the benefits it brings, we can demonstrate maintenance savings in most cases, and in a relatively short space of time.
To have a chat with one of our team about lubricants or oil analysis for your wind turbines, or to discuss the benefits synthetic lubricants could bring you, please get in touch.