Specialty lubricants improve energy efficiency and life-time cycles in hydropower installations, while reducing wear and improving environmental protection.

  • ✔ Sustainable optimisation

    Our consulting helps you achieve your sustainability goals. Improve efficiency, reduce emissions and costs, meet environmental standards.

  • ✔	High productivity and long service life

    ✔ High productivity and long service life

    Lubricants from Klüber Lubrication feature excellent lubricity, temperature resistance and ageing resistance. This allows downtime for repairs and maintenance to be significantly reduced.

  • ✔	 High system availability and long maintenance intervals

    ✔ High system availability and long maintenance intervals

    Our lubricants are matched to your specific application area. They help prevent corrosion and wear. This enables a long service life for your systems.

  • ✔ Quantified results

    Energy savings reached with our specialty lubricants can be quantified.

  • ✔ Expert consulting

    Our experts offer you measurable added value through our comprehensive services and expertise from over 90 years of experience.

  • ✔ Cost Savings

    High-performance lubricants help you maximise productivity and availability with minimal downtime. Machines become more reliable, with longer service life.

The challenges of hydropower energy generation

With ever-increasing cost pressures and stricter environmental requirements, the hydropower industry continuously seeks to improve energy efficiency. This is true of all hydropower installation types, including run-of-the-river, reservoir, and pumped-storage plants. And the range of hydropower generation is huge, from major multi-hundred megawatt sites to much smaller units.

Plant inefficiencies, especially in older installations, are important, but not the only impediments to profitability. Environmental protections like fish ladders divert water from generators, while friction and wear increase bearing efficiency losses, and foaming impacts productivity.

One way of improving energy efficiency and achieving cost optimisation is to switch to specialty lubricants precisely tailored to hydropower applications. This is an attractive, less disruptive, and lower-cost alternative to upgrading generators, turbines, and other power plant components, yet it can allow operators to generate more energy from the same volume of water, while improving the plant’s ecological footprint.

Where specialty lubricants can make a difference – and why

Generator journal bearings and bearings in oil-lubricated turbines are lubricated with large volumes of oil; although these machines are already highly efficient, specialty lubricants can make them more so.

The typical turbine designs such as Kaplan, Francis or Pelton turbines require reliable lubrication, where specialty lubricants can provide additional benefits in terms of efficiency and sustainability. For Kaplan runner hub designs, which are usually filled with oil, modern Hydro Lubricants offer the potential to change over to biodegradable, oil-free solutions.

Specialty lubricants can also benefit wicket gates that control water flow, wire ropes for cranes or trash rack cleaning, open gears in lock and dam applications, and gearboxes for general power transmission.

However, there are also applications involving direct contact with water; for these, sustainability and minimised environmental impact are the main considerations, and Hydro Lubricants can provide solutions.

  • Sustainable and efficient. Specialty lubricants from Klüber Lubrication for trouble-free, efficient operation of your hydropower plants.

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Your benefits at a glance:

  • Boosting efficiency economically: Although hydropower installations are already highly efficient, increasing energy pricing pressure calls for further efficiency improvement. Our specialty lubricants allow operators to achieve this without need for extensive capital investment or disruption.
  • Generator journal bearings and oil-lubricated turbine bearings offer particularly good opportunities for efficiency improvement: by using Klüberoil EE 1-46, efficiency losses in generator bearings can be reduced significantly.
  • Easier maintenance: Switching to specialty lubricants can lead to longer service life and trouble-free plant operation.
  • Environmental protection: Where hydropower equipment is in direct contact with water, our ‘oil-free’ solution Klüberbio MW 0-100 Hydro Lubricant provides eco-protection with OECD standard biodegradability. 
  • Overarching benefit: By applying specially designed lubricants to generators, turbines, and other key hydropower plant components, operators can generate more power from the same volume of water.   

Reduced wear and increased hydropower energy efficiency

Our Klüberoil EE 1-46 shows all technical characteristics required for generator bearings, while also exceeding applicable industry standard DIN ISO 51515-2; this defines specific generator and turbine oil parameters to ensure proper application functionality.

Klüberoil EE 1-46 exhibits high system and energy efficiency across a wide temperature range. As it exceeds the requirements of DIN 51515-2 regarding increased wear protection, it also contributes to reducing losses in journal bearing efficiency. Learn more about Klüberoil EE 1-46 here.

Extended plant life with trouble-free operation

By reducing wear, our specialty lubricants help to sustain a hydropower plant’s industrial lifetime cycle. They also promote trouble-free plant operation through low foaming, and offer good compatibility with bearing materials through an optimised additive system.

Overall, these benefits allow hydropower plant operators to generate more power from the same water volume, without needing expensive modifications.

Environmental protection

Many hydropower plant components operate directly in the water, and some designs, like the Kaplan turbine, have an oil-filled hub. Environmental protection must be maximised, using an ‘oil-free’ and biodegradable product. Our Klüberbio MW 0-100 eco-compatible Hydro Lubricant provides the answer. This new product is biodegradable according to standard OECD 301 B, while offering excellent wear and corrosion protection, and water miscibility.

Using lubricants with water as a functional component rather than mineral oil lubricants also helps to support the preservation of scarce resources.

Wherever you are

We continuously enhance our comprehensive range with new solutions that encompass technical innovation right from the start.

Our worldwide presence means that we always have R&D capability close at hand, while logistics time, complexity and costs are minimised.

Get in touch – Stay competitive

Are you looking for the right specialty lubricant for your application area? Do you have questions, or do you need advice on a special solution? We are here to help you – talk with our experts about your project!

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