The crucial phrase in today’s wind industry is Levelised Cost of Energy (LCOE). Reducing the LCOE levels the playing field between more traditional forms of energy such as nuclear, coal and gas, and also the competition with other renewable generation sources such as solar PV and offshore wind.
But nothing hurts wind turbine efficiency, and therefore LCOE, like downtime. Nearly 40% of unscheduled downtime days are attributed to gearbox failures, costing up to US$200,000 per event. One key way to avoid downtime is to protect the turbine’s gearbox. A high-quality lubricant can make all the difference. In the early days of the wind industry, wind turbine operators would use whatever product was available to oil the gears. However, since the 1990s, lubricants have become increasingly specialised for the wind industry.
Download this Windpower Monthly expert report, produced in partnership with Castrol, as we explore how high-quality lubricants can help to increase reliability and protect assets, which are especially expensive to maintain due to their size and often remote locations. In the past, it was necessary to change the oil inside gear boxes every three to five years – now they can last far longer.