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.