Wind turbines are intentionally located in extreme environments, and subjected to constantly-changing high loads. Gearboxes and bearings face continuous and intense strain; however, maintenance is an arduous task performed only at long intervals. While trouble-free operation is critical to profitable production, it is hard to achieve under these conditions. Accordingly, wind power plant operators need specialty lubricants which perform reliably, protect components and provide extended maintenance intervals.
Specialty lubricants for wind turbines represent a minor investment that can bring tremendous benefits. Our flushing greases lead up to 40 per cent less downtime in generators, and we offer a universal maintenance grease that’s suitable for all bearings. Our high performance gear oils show a good load-carrying capacity and ageing resistance as well as low friction. Further specialty greases are available for main bearings, blade bearings, generator bearings and yaw bearings.
A key performance indicator of the wind energy industry is the so-called LCoE (Levelized Cost of Electricity). It represents the unit-cost of electricity today, considering the full life of the asset. Moreover, it is the basis for the decision to invest or not in a wind farm. The lower the LCoE, the cheaper wind power is compared to fossil energy. Successfully reducing LCoE depends not on manufacturing cheap turbines, but on creating larger turbines with much higher performance. Advanced-technology lubricants can help massive bearings to work reliably with the same precision as the small bearings in an electric motor – contributing to making wind energy more competitive.
Many turbines complete 20 years or more of service life. Operators could benefit considerably in both continued availability and reduced capital costs if they could run these turbines for another 10 years. Klüber Lubrication specialty lubricants can facilitate this by doubling lubricant lifetime.
Service intervals can also be performed yearly rather than every six months. This halves the number of technicians and site visits required for maintenance, while improving turbine uptime – a particularly valuable benefit for offshore wind farms.
You can find more information about reducing energy production costs and increasing turbine lifetime here.
As wind turbines grow ever larger, their gears are subjected to higher stresses. This can challenge conventional oils’ ability to provide fretting wear protection for ball bearings, resist the formation of micropitting, foam and residues, and ensure viscosity stability.
In response, Klüber Lubrication has developed a very comprehensive portfolio of high-performance gear oils to accommodate high loads in wind turbine gears. It enables long oil change intervals, has lower power losses and provides higher plant yield – by up to several thousand euros over the service life of a wind turbine. It offers excellent antifoaming characteristics and protection against micropitting. It also contains no additives that might promote residue formation; only those that protect against micropitting, scuffing and white etching cracks (WECs). Due to its high shear stability, the product’s viscosity remains consistent.
Wind power plant operators may have inventory issues as many bearing manufacturers recommend different lubricants for each bearing. We developed Klüberplex BEM 41-141, a single lubricating grease for the main, generator, yaw and blade bearings, which outperformed all the other greases compared in standardised tests. This greatly simplifies lubricant purchasing, transport logistics and storage.
Klüberplex BEM 41-141 meets, and even exceeds, today’s requirements of bearing and wind turbine OEMs and operators. It has excellent false brinelling behaviour for wind turbine applications. The lubricant’s wide service temperature range, its good pumpability and precise metering in centralised lubricating systems as well as good grease distribution and oil release ensure trouble-free operation of the wind power plant.
Bearings in wind turbines can start to accumulate hard deposits and run hot; this usually means taking the generator offline for dismantling and repair, incurring downtime costs.
Our flushing greases allow bearings to be cleaned during operation, by removing residues while also providing effective lubrication and good protection against fretting wear and corrosion. Bearing life is extended while maintenance downtime is reduced.
Klüber Lubrication performs high-quality analyses of both oils and greases for wind applications. We can analyse a customer’s lubricants and advise on contaminants and evidence of bearing wear. We can advise on optimum lubricant quantities, lubrication intervals and lubrication methods. This helps our customers to minimise maintenance costs, especially by detecting potential damage before it occurs.
Our service is particularly valuable because of our extensive experience with wind farm applications, and accuracy in interpreting results.
Both the demand for energy and the wind resources are distributed around the globe. Therefore, low-emission logistics opens up further potential for wind energy. Klüber Lubrication products, manufactured in many countries around the world, comply with local legislation and help you to save transport costs and CO2 emissions.
We are a member of the UN Global Compact, the worldwide biggest corporate initiative for sustainability. Rather than limiting ourselves to resource-saving production as well as environmental and occupational safety, we strive to maximise our products’ sustainability across both our own and our customers' sites.
Our environmentally-friendly strategy is complemented by our biodegradable products, which exceed current environmental legislation.
As a global market leader for wind turbine lubricants, we lubricate the major share of the world’s wind turbines, and could find an optimum solution for you, too.
By using our wind turbine lubricants, you will not only succeed in reducing LCoE of wind energy, but you will also stay competitive with other energy carriers.
Klüber Lubrication stands for extremely high quality, reliability and innovation. Our special lubricants help to boost productivity and cost-effectiveness and to reduce downtime. Use our expertise, and learn how to increase your wind turbine efficiency!
Are you looking for the right lubricant for your system, or for a long-term partner for optimisation of your lubrication processes – or do you have questions, or do you need advice on a speciality solution? We are here to help you – talk with our experts about your project!
Discover our special lubricants in operation!
View highlighted applications and our suitable products for the respective lubrication points in the interactive graphic.
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