Using an inferior lubricant can achieve short-term savings but can cause risky long-term effects. Castrol Industrial’s global product manager, Daryl Luke, discusses how the right lubrication can not only improve productivity but potentially reduce your overall total operating costs.
While budgets are tight, there is a temptation to use cheaper lubricants without the necessary additives to maintain wind turbines. And many within the industry may not be aware that investing in the right lubrication could save a typical operator managing 50 wind turbines up to $250,000 year-on-year.
However, operators choosing a lubricant based on the short-term cost savings risk the long-term expense of changing components, unplanned maintenance and in some extreme cases the wrong choice can result in gearbox replacement.
As many operators are aware, the gearbox is one of the most vital elements within the wind turbine which, when maintained correctly, can last for many years, generating great yields for the owner as it converts wind power into usable energy.
Although, if not maintained properly, the gearbox can fail sooner than originally predicted or expected and will need replacing, an exercise which is difficult and can cost millions.
With advancements in technology, wind turbines have become larger with greater power output requirements. And as new wind farms are being located in areas submitted to higher wind speeds such as those found in offshore sites, means there has never been a stronger need to reduce wear and tear and predict service intervals to avoid potential component failure and unplanned downtime.