Wind turbine oil system provides lubrication for the inner parts of the turbine, which is very important for the safety and efficiency of the unit. It is clearly understandable that condition of the oil in the system is crucial as well. To keep wind power plant systems safe and clean, manufacturers must maintain them properly and regularly. Sample analysis, regular oil changes and purification are the procedures that shouldn’t be omitted
How Does the Wind Turbine Oil System Function?
Nowadays, wind power plants use automatic turbine oil systems. The unit usually has a special internal reservoir that contains lubricating oil and spreads it through the machinery:
- rotor bearings
- generator bearings
- blade bearings etc.
Figure 1. General Wind Turbine Lubrication Diagram
Lubricating oil should be monitored, filtered and changed in time. While wind turbine oil systems usually have internal filters, that is not enough for good maintenance. If there is not enough oil or the oil is in bad condition, it may cause serious damage.
There can be different types of oil system applications, but all of them have the same issues and challenges.
The Challenges of Turbine Oil System
Wind turbine lubrication is a big challenge.There are dozens of interconnected parts, and lubrication is essential for each single part. But what makes wind turbine lubrication so complicated is that these components are elevated up to 50 stories high!
The key to servicing wind turbines is proper lubrication of the bearings in the turbine gearbox. The lack of proper lubrication accounts for about 40% of all bearing failures. Gearbox failure is one of the most common causes of downtime and huge repair costs.
Imagine the cost difference between the use of proper preventive maintenance by automatic lubrication system against attaching a faucet and replacing a new bearing or the entire gearbox!
Most Common Oil System Problems
There are several most common failures that can happen in the oil system:
- Oil leak
A wind turbine can develop leaks due to different factors. It happens most often because of system contamination or overheating
- Contamination due to aging
Oil aging is an inevitable process, which occurs after a long period of turbine operation. The only way to keep the power plant running is by changing or purifying the oil
- Contamination with cleaning liquids
Cleaning liquids are another source of pollution. They are used to wash leaking oil from towers and dead insects from blades, resulting an a paste-like substance.
Picture 2. Turbine Oil Leak
Wind Turbine Oil System Care
GlobeCore produces different equipment for oil maintenance, including wind turbine service machines – our latest development.
There are three types of units:
- CMM-G Wind Turbine Gearbox Oil Changer
The CMM-G plant is designed for three different modes of wind turbine maintenance:
- purification of oil
- wind turbine flushing
- oil evacuation and oil filling
The device effectively services wind turbines in less than 1 hour. The device is available for wind power plants up to 105 meters high.
- CMM-GL Wind Turbine Gearbox Oil Changer
The machine has the same features as the CMM-G plant with the only difference in size and capacity. The CMM-GL unit in this configuration operates with wind turbines of up to 60 meters in height and is equipped with a 15 μm filter.
The CMM-4T is a mobile turbine oil filtration system. Its purpose is to purify oil, removing water and various contaminants.
This device operates with turbine oil of any turbine equipment, including wind power plants and other industrial facilities.