Is it time for an annual checkup....On Your Turbine Oil?
Most of us know we should see our doctor for an annual checkup, but do we actually do it? If we do have one, do we understand the tests and examinations we are having done? Most of us will answer "no" to at least one of these questions. Now apply the same questions to your turbine oils. Still answering "no"?
Monitoring Turbine Oils Is Vital To Plant Operations
For any power generation facility, the turbine is considered the lifeblood of the operation. Any problem requiring an unexpected shutdown of the main turbine is likely to cause a significant unplanned outage, potentially resulting in millions of dollars of downtime costs. According to a 1991 study by General Electric (GE), turbines contribute on average 20 percent of all forced outages in a conventional power plant. Among this 20 percent, GE noted that 19 percent of turbine/generator problems were associated with the lube oil system. For this reason, monitoring turbine oils has become vital in the power generation industry.
How To Monitor Your Turbine Oil's Health
Turbine oils, particularly those used in steam turbines, are expected to last 10 to 20 years. During this lifespan, careful monitoring of both lube oil physical and chemical properties, together with common contaminants such as water and solid particles, is required and should be performed annually. This is true not just of in-service oils, but also for new oils, which must meet rigorous performance specifications prior to selection and use in a new application.
Insight Services' Annual Turbine Analysis Report is a 9-page analysis summarizing each of the tests we perform and containing a detailed explanation of each test result. The report also contains a summary of findings, as well as recommended actions as identified by our analysts.