Lubricants need to protect the engine and extend equipment life by both controlling carbon deposit and ash build up, and neutralising acids produced during combustion or by the oxidation and nitration of the oil itself. Therefore, lubricants should have a low-ash content to minimise deposit build up, but a balance between ash level and performance is needed to ensure system efficiency is not compromised. Ash content needs to be sufficiently high to manage alkalinity reserve depletion but not so high that it leads to wear and deposits.

For heavy-duty diesel/heavy fuel engines, fuel quality presents a similar challenge for engine oils. Low quality fuels can have high sulphur and asphaltene content, resulting in the need for engine oils to meet the challenges of cold corrosion and base number (BN) depletion. While heavy fuel oil (HFO) engines also present the challenges of increased oil viscosity, high-temperature corrosion and deposit build-up due to contamination with high asphaltene fuels.

While lubricants are designed to neutralise acid and prevent corrosion during combustion, the oil BN, and consequently the oil life, can be reduced in the process. Sweetening can be conducted in order to prevent the need for a full oil change - this involves draining and replenishing a small amount of oil to boost the BN.

Over time however, this can accumulate a significant amount of waste oil, resulting in costly storage and disposal. The goal, then, is to bring down oil consumption and sweetening, and therefore TCO.


The average age of a power transformer in many countries is around 30 years or older and many companies are operating equipment close to or beyond its original recommended lifespan due to the high capital cost involved in replacing a unit. Many transformers frequently operate under overload, with larger voltages to improve transmission efficiencies and higher power:weight or power:volume ratios to reduce manufacturing and installation costs. This means transformer oils must work effectively for longer and in higher temperatures. They also need to be able to protect against copper corrosion, paper degradation and premature oil ageing.


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By selecting a high performing oil, power sector companies can realise TCO savings that reach far beyond any savings related to the price of the lubricant itself. Turbine oils made using GTL (gas-to-liquid) technology, hold the key to increasing productivity over an increased time, whilst helping to keep the risk of costly equipment breakdowns to a minimum.

These are produced from natural gas using a proprietary gas-to- liquids (GTL) process. With no sulphur5

and very low aromatic

and unsaturates contents, these GTL base fluids typically have higher flash points, lower densities and more effective thermal properties than conventional mineral oils, and when additivated have significantly longer resistance to degradation.

Selecting a less effective lubricant rarely results in immediate equipment failure, but can lead to increased maintenance expenses over time and, in the event of disruptions from unplanned downtime, heavy financial penalties. These mounting costs can be far greater than the savings from selecting a lower price lubricant.

In contrast, a high-performance, high-quality lubricant that keeps equipment clean of deposits, and effectively protects against wear and corrosion and other lubricant related problems can help extend equipment life, reduce frequency of breakdown and increase equipment availability. This could significantly decrease spend on spare parts and maintenance over the life of the asset.

EFFECTIVE LUBRICATION MANAGEMENT In addition to selecting the right product, effective lubrication management is vital to unlock potential TCO savings. Even the best product cannot perform effectively if it does not reach the right surfaces in the equipment at the right time, in the right amount, without being contaminated or degraded. Effective lubrication management can help deliver value from improved productivity and reductions in lubricant consumption, maintenance and operating costs.


Below the detection limits according to ISO 14596/ASTM D2622. LUBE MAGAZINE NO.140 AUGUST 2017 31

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