We analyze our clients’ bearing, control, and guide system lubricants for natural gas, steam, hydropower, or wind turbines. Turbine oils resist rust and oxidation, and they must separate from water molecules to reduce emulsification. A turbine oil should never reach a boiling temperature, therefore water must separate so the operator can drain it off. Gas turbine lubricants undergo the highest temperatures and therefore require more laboratory attention to insoluble formation in the oil over time. We recommend varnish testing on a semi-annual basis for gas turbines.
The hydraulic control systems, which maintain proper rotor speed and direction, typically have anti-wear properties distinct from turbine lubricating oil. For all turbines and their hydraulic systems, we always recommend testing the new lubricant when it is first poured into the machine. Over time we’ll compare that new oil to the used oil samples to quantify whether the lubricant’s integrity is maintained and its anti-oxidant package continues to function as designed.