Power generation, Lubricants | Lubrication in ecological power generation

Wind turbines require lubrication in various system parts, such as gearboxes or pitch and yaw motors. Testing the oils’ viscosities at different temperatures is crucial for satisfactory lubrication. SVM series viscometers allow fast, reliable and ASTM-compliant determination of various parameters, ensuring optimum performance of wind turbines.

Wind turbines

Wind turbines harness the power of wind's kinetic energy to generate electricity. They consist of rotor blades attached to a rotor, which begins to rotate when the wind exerts lift and drag forces on the blades. The rotor is connected to an electric generator, producing electricity while the wind turbine is operating.
In general, wind turbines can be classified into “gearbox wind turbines” and “direct-drive wind turbines”. In gearbox wind turbines, a shaft connects the blades to the generator via a gearbox, which increases the rotor speed before transmitting the energy to the generator. In contrast, in direct-drive wind turbines, the generator is directly driven by the rotor.
Furthermore, wind turbines can be categorized based on their axis of rotation.

Why measure viscosity

Depending on the wind turbine type, lubricating oils are either required in the gearbox or in the yaw and pitch control system to reduce friction and to minimize wear and tear, dissipate heat, and protect all components against damage. Since the viscosity of lubricating oils changes with both age and use, regular viscosity checks are recommended to ensure optimum performance.

The below table summarizes important viscosity and density-related parameters, that are typically measured for quality control of lubricating oils.

Parameter Unit
Kinematic viscosity (40 °C) mm²/s or cSt
Kinematic viscosity (100 °C) mm²/s or cSt
Viscosity index (VI) ---
Density (15 °C) g/cm³ or kg/m³


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