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Rutledge, GA, United States

Livingstone G.J.,Fluitec International | Ameye J.,Fluitec International | Wooton D.,Wooton Consulting
Journal of ASTM International | Year: 2011

The logistics and expense of obtaining oil samples from wind farms are among the conditions that make it challenging to establish a valuable condition monitoring program. Optimizing the oil condition monitoring program for a wind turbine is a critical step towards achieving forecasted ROI for the wind farm. To advance the current oil condition monitoring practices for most wind turbines, 150 identical wind turbine systems in the field for up to four years were studied. Several oil analysis tests were performed to understand the depletion of additives and changes in fluid chemistry. Basic statistical analysis was obtained on the data set to identify correlations in the data. The result of the analysis was a better understanding of the wind turbine oil's formulation and the relationship to fluid degradation and gearbox condition. The statistical methodology that we performed can be applied to other wind turbine farms to improve the knowledge derived from their oil analysis tests, both for gear as well hydraulic oils. In addition, other innovative tests were suggested which may augment a current oil analysis test slate to improve the value of their program. Copyright © 2011 by ASTM International.

Livingstone G.,Fluitec International | Cavanaugh G.,Fluitec International
Tribology and Lubrication Technology | Year: 2015

Hydraulic oils are subjected to increased thermal and mechanical stresses in modern hydraulic systems causing system deposits, fluid failure and equipment reliability issues. Oxidation is the predominant reaction a lubricant undergoes in service and accounts for significant lubricant performance problems. It is the major source of viscosity increase, varnish formation, additive depletion, base oil breakdown, filter plugging, loss of foam resistance, loss of demulsibility, acid number increase, rust and corrosion. A small layer of varnish deposit due to hydraulic oxidation can lead to servo-valve sticking, accelerated wear and malfunction. To resolve the problem, hydraulic oil formulations have traditionally used a Group I solvent refined base stock and zinc dialkyldithiophosphate (ZDDP) as a combined antiwear and antioxidant additive system. Voltammetry RULER test identifies the antioxidant health of both primary and secondary antioxidants used in hydraulic oils. Membrane patch colorimetry test method is effective to determine a hydraulic oil's propensity to form varnish. Analytical testing of the oil and any generated deposits can identify what mechanism may e responsible for degradation.

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