May 30, 2020

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ExxonMobil and GE launch advanced co-branded turbine oil
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Photo courtesy of GE

ExxonMobil and GE announced the launch of Mobil SHC 918 EE gas turbine oil, a new technology that may dramatically improve turbine bearing efficiency by up to 15% compared to conventional ISO VG 32 turbine oils. Designed for use in multi shaft 7HA, 9HA, 6FA.01 and 7FA GE gas turbines, this technology can help power plant operators reduce energy consumption, and, thus, the cost to produce power.

Improving turbine energy efficiency is a significant focus for the power generation industry. Improving efficiency can help reduce fuel costs, which can account for up to 80% of total running costs, and extend component life by reducing operating temperatures. These improvements can lead to lower capital expenditures and maintenance costs.

Developed in collaboration with GE, this gas turbine oil is the first and only lubricant to meet GE’s Energy Efficient (EE) GEK 121603 turbine oil specification, which GE developed exclusively for its high-performance turbines.

“More efficient gas turbines are critical to the success of the power generation industry, and we’re committed to leading the charge by delivering innovative technologies that help operators minimize cost to produce while maintaining high reliability and improving sustainability,” said John Lammas, vice president of engineering for GE Power. “Many operators may not think about the importance of gas turbine oil, but this new technology developed in partnership with ExxonMobil delivers step-out performance that can single-handedly deliver an impactful efficiency improvement.”

In addition to enhanced bearing efficiency, ExxonMobil’s research team developed Mobil SHC 918 EE to limit the occurrence of varnish as a result of its excellent thermal stability characteristics, thereby enhancing overall turbine operation reliability.

“Working with the GE team over the past several years has helped us develop a truly next-generation product that can deliver dramatic results for gas turbine operators across the U.S. and around the world,” said Tim Hinchman, director of strategic global alliances at ExxonMobil. “Mobil SHC 918 EE utilizes our latest technology to reduce gas consumed per KW generated and improve bearing efficiency by up to 15%. By making the switch to this new gas turbine oil, operators can save tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars per year, depending on their operation, while maintaining strong reliability.

GE and ExxonMobil collaborated to develop Mobil SHC 918 EE gas turbine oil through a rigorous process that involved three phases:

GE developed a test rig to simulate turbine bearing surface speeds under varying load conditions to select the optimum turbine oil to provide energy efficiency benefits.

Mobil SHC 918 EE was then successfully tested in GE’s Test Stand both 7HA and 9HA gas turbines. Performance was monitored by 4,000 sensors through extreme testing conditions, including critical speed startups under a variety of operating conditions.

GE then field-tested Mobil SHC 918 EE in 6FA and 7FA turbines, running reliably for over two years.

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