TURBINE OIL ANALYSIS

Determine the remaining useful life of the lubricant

The degradation of turbine oil can lead to electrical power failures and breakdown of other critical equipment.

Turbine oil degradation is the result of 4 main causes:

  • Oxidation due to interaction with oxygen.

  • Thermal degradation. Extremely high temperatures in a turbine can cause base oil and additive molecules to chemically change. The result is the formation of insoluble materials in the oil causing deposits, and in some cases, equipment failures.

  • Water contamination is the main concern in hydropower and steam turbines, where water is boiled by nuclear fission, coal, gas, fuel.

  • In gas turbines (jet engines, turboprops), contamination results from dust absorption, wear metals and oil degradation products.

  • Additive depletion (antioxidants, demulsifiers, antifoam additives).

Two tests are recommended to monitor the condition of turbine oil:

  • The RPVOT measures the lubricant’s resistance to oxidation and sludge formation.

  • The RULER® test (Remaining Useful Life Evaluation Routine) measures the oxidative resistance levels of oil. This test can determine the remaining useful life of used oil by comparing its anti-oxidative concentration (oxidation inhibitors) with those of new oil.

For additional information, please view our December 2012, February 2013 and April 2013 Newsletters.

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