In-service Condition Monitoring of Turbine Oils
In-service Turbine Oil analysis is an integral part of any Condition Based Maintenance Program and is a vital step in building an effective lubrication strategy. Used correctly, oil analysis on large machinery and engines not only provides valuable information about the performance of lubricating oil as well as the condition of the equipment but is also a valuable predictive and proactive tool in ensuring that equipment reliability is optimized and lubrication-related failures are minimized. However, in order to ensure continued success, it is important not only to setup the program properly, but also to review the program periodically to ensure that the program structure meets the stated reliability goals of the organization. The practice of turbine oil analysis has drastically changed from its original inception in the industry. In today’s computer and information age, oil analysis has evolved into a mandatory tool in a Plant’s Predictive Maintenance arsenal. As a predictive maintenance tool, turbine oil analysis is used to uncover, isolate and offer solutions for abnormal lubricant and machine conditions. These abnormalities, if left unchecked, usually result in extensive, sometimes catastrophic damage causing lost production, extensive repair costs and even operator accidents. The goal of an effective turbine oil analysis program is to maximize the reliability and availability of machinery, while minimizing maintenance costs associated with oil change outs, labor, repairs and downtime. Accomplishing this goal takes time, training and patience. However, the results are dramatic and the documented savings in cost avoidance are significant. This paper presents basic oil analysis concepts for new engineers looking to improve his/her understanding of the power of turbine oil analysis.
Kamal, Girish (2013). In-service Condition Monitoring of Turbine Oils. Turbomachinery Laboratory, Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station. Available electronically from