Show Menu Show Menu Close Menu Close Menu Facebook Facebook Twitter Twitter LinkedIn LinkedIn Search Search Contact Contact
Savant Labs
A World of Lubrication Understanding®

Wind Turbine Lubricant Testing

Wind energy continues to grow in importance around the world.  To best serve the lubricants industry, Savant Labs is providing wind turbine lubricant testing to support wind generation locally, nationally, and internationally.  With the high forces, high rotational speeds, and variable conditions a wind turbine experiences in operation, lubrication is critical. 

Antiwear Testing
The gearbox is generally considered the most important and vulnerable lubricated component.  The gears are susceptible to surface wear such as micro-pitting and scuffing.  Lubricants with antiwear and extreme pressure additives can protect against scuffing and other surface wear.  Furthermore, the use of the fluid with the proper viscosity provides an adequate film thickness to prevent contact between the gear teeth.
In addition, excellent antiwear properties and proper viscosity across the operating temperature range are typical requirements to maintain proper bearing function, for both oils and greases used in wind turbine bearing applications.

Materials Compatibility 
In addition to these specific wear problems, wind turbine fluids must exhibit good materials compatibility.   For instance, they must not damage seals, which can cause fluid leakage. Compatibility with paints and coatings used in the wind turbine is also important. As with all lubricants, wind turbine fluids need to resist foaming, minimize corrosion, and exhibit good oxidation stability, which extends the drain interval. Finally, the lubricant needs to have good pumpability across the operating temperature range, which can include cold ambient temperatures in higher latitudes.

Many of the same tests that are used to validate automotive oils or industrial gear oils can be used to evaluate whether a lubricant is well suited to a wind turbine application.

In-Service Fluid Monitoring & Testing Program
In addition to determining whether fluids are generally appropriate for wind turbine applications, the wind generation industry makes extensive use of in-service fluid monitoring. Many installations use in-line sensors to monitor overall cleanliness or conductivity, which can indicate some level of information about wear and oil degradation. Even more important, the standard practice in the industry is to sample the gearbox oil about every six months during scheduled maintenance and send it to a testing lab, such as Savant Labs, for analysis.  The tests conducted can vary, but tend to include fluid cleanliness, viscosity, acid number, water content, elemental analysis, analysis of oxidation, and ferrography. Together, these tests can identify the beginning of a wear problem and can even be used to identify root causes before the gearbox sees catastrophic failure due to wear damage. 

With Savant Labs as the laboratory partner in a fluid testing program, a wind turbine operator would have years of testing expertise, rapid test turnaround, continuous communication, and a quality guarantee statement.  Savant Labs provide wind turbine lubricant testing as part of the qualification process or condition monitoring programs. Savant Labs are an enthusiastic and capable participant in supporting the growth of wind energy generation. Contact us

 Wind Turbine In-Service Fluid Testing

ASTM D97     Pour Point
ASTM D445   Kinematic Viscosity
ASTM D664   Acid Number
ASTM D892   Foaming, Sequence I - III
ASTM D893   Insolubles, Pentane
ASTM D974   Acid Number
ASTM D2500  Cloud Point
ASTM D2622 Sulfur by XRF - Wavelength Dispersive
ASTM D2983 Brookfield Viscosity
ASTM D4739 Base Number
ASTM D4951  Elemental Analysis by ICP, Wear Metals
ASTM D5133 Scanning Brookfield Viscosity
ASTM D5185 Elemental Analysis by ICP
ASTM D6304 Water by Karl Fischer
ASTM D7216 Elastomer Compatibility
ASTM D7414 FTIR Analysis, In-Service Fluid, Oxidation
ISO 4406 Particle Count

Wind Turbine Gearbox Qualification Testing

ASTM D92    Flash Point and Fire Point, Cleveland Open Cup
ASTM D97    Pour Point
ASTM D130  Copper Strip Corrosion
ASTM D287  API Gravity of Crude Petroleum / Petroleum Products 
ASTM D445  Kinematic Viscosity
ASTM D664  Acid Number
ASTM D665  Rust Prevention
ASTM D974  Acid Number
ASTM D1401 Emulsion Characteristics, Water Separability
ASTM D2270 Viscosity Index 
ASTM D2711  Demulsibility 
ASTM D2782 Timken Extreme Pressure 
ASTM D2783 Four Ball Extreme Pressure
ASTM D2893 Oxidation Characteristics Extreme Pressure
ASTM D2983 Brookfield Viscosity
ASTM D4172 Four Ball Wear