One way to improve wind-turbine efficiency is with proper gearbox lubricant. Dow recently introduced the UCON GL-320 lubricant for wind turbine gearboxes and those in other applications. The high viscosity index of the lube, addresses the issue of cold weather causing high lubricant viscosity without the need for additional VI improvers. It has higher heat capacity than hydrocarbon oils, which allows it to move more heat, forestalling a shutdown when turbine output is at the maximum. The lubricant has better lubricity at ambient conditions, so it has potential to shift the power-versus-wind-speed curve to the left, leading to greater power output when the production is less than the maximum design output.
This lubricant also addresses the issue of micropitting, which can lead to wearing and changes in gear teeth shape, reducing gear accuracy, and increasing vibrations and noise. It can also lead to other problems such as misalignment and fatigue failure. High viscosity lubricants like UCON GL-320 are a thicker lubricant film that can help to reduce the debris and worn particles that often accompany less well-lubricated gears.
Filed Under: Gearboxes, Lubricants, News