Shell Lubricants has unveiled a new synthetic gearbox oil for wind turbines in the U.S. market. With a market leading 10-year warranty, Shell Omala S5 Wind can help to extend operational uptime and reduce unplanned breakdown by offering enhanced protection.
“Seventy percent of U.S. power businesses don’t realize that effective lubrication can lead to shorter periods of equipment downtime, having negative ramifications on the bottom-line,” said Warren Cates, Senior Research Scientist, Shell. “Improving this aspect of equipment maintenance can make a significant impact on profitability.”
Gearbox operations and management can be particularly demanding and is often in remote locations and challenging weather conditions. The equipment must withstand extremes of hot or cold climates, water, dust, and fluctuating wind speeds.
These severe conditions and varying loads can cause damage to the gearboxes, including micro-pitting.
“Shell’s range of wind-turbine gearbox lubricants are designed specifically for exceptional oil life under various extreme conditions, as is demanded by America’s varied climate,” said Cates.
If a gearbox failure occurs, it can cause significant equipment downtime, leading to monetary loss. With more than 56,600 wind turbines now active across 41 U.S. states, with a combined capacity of 97,223 MW, operational efficiency is of great importance.
“Shell products have been specifically developed for gearboxes, bearings, and other moving parts of wind turbines,” he said. “These sector-specific applications have particular demands and can carry a high penalty for poor reliability, especially if they are in remote locations. The robust wear and corrosion protection Shell Omala S5 Wind offers can help extend the service life of the gearboxes, while innovative foam control and optimal filterability also help to reduce gear and bearing damage.”
“The lubricant’s 10-year warranty gives operators and equipment manufacturers alike the peace of mind that fewer oil changes during a wind turbine’s lifecycle, and consistent protection against equipment wear, can be achieved,” he added.
In addition to lubricant products, Shell Lubricants’ offering also includes onsite technical support and oil monitoring and reliability services to help operators run their plants as efficiently as possible.