Nic Schaff

Picture of oil flushing jumpers

Planning Oil Flushing for Proactive Maintenance

Unfortunately, for many operations, high velocity oil flushing is just another item on a checklist, done without much thought or planning. For facilities like this, the only time oil flushing is a priority is when a system fails, and at that point, the only goal is to get the system back up and running. While this approach is understandable, it often leads to problems, inefficiency, and a cycle of reactive maintenance activity.
Performing high velocity oil flushes at regular intervals can enhance machine performance and extend asset life.

Detail of power generation turbine fins in an industrial facility.

The Selection and Servicing of Turbine Oils

Turbine engines have different demands than other engines; they have unique structures, operating cycles, operating temperatures, and contamination potential. As such, turbine engines require unique lubricants formulated specifically to meet these demands.
It is important, when choosing a turbine oil, to understand how these lubricants differ, physically and chemically, from other lubricants. The lubricant selection process is also a good time to address turbine oil system flushing and the initial filtration requirements.

A columnar level gauge showing the oil level in a sump.

Keeping Contaminants Out of Small Sumps and Reservoirs

Amidst all the various components in a plant, small reservoirs often go neglected. Larger equipment tends to be deemed critical due to being high-dollar items. Smaller equipment only gets noticed when it holds up production. Reliability goals with larger equipment is usually pretty straight forward; prevent outages and increase production. Longevity of the equipment is a byproduct of our ultimate production goal, so why is this so often forgotten when it comes to the smaller stuff?

A example of a patch test kit in use with the oil being pushed through a membrane with a manual pump

How to Check System Cleanliness After an Oil Flush

We frequently use a combination of screen inspections and patch tests to verify system cleanliness during and after a flushing project. In most cases, a cleanliness target of 16/14/11 ISO 4406 has been set, which can be accurately verified by a patch test. In addition, we provide a comprehensive post-job report within 30 days of project completion that includes information on cleanliness tests along with all daily reports and related documentation. Third-party lab analysis is often included with this report including a laser net-fines and pictures from the patch test.

Varnish Removal: Chevron’s Holistic Approach to Tackling Varnish

With the introduction and Group II turbine oils, varnish has presented itself as one of the most prevalent issues facing turbomachinery equipment operators. While ion exchange resin manufacturers and chemical detergent manufacturers have scrambled to offer solutions to combat existing problems with varnish, it wasn’t until recently that Chevron Lubricants developed a two part solution that uses the same technology used to remove varnish deposits to also prevent future varnish formation.

Planning your next Turnaround with Reliability in Mind

With the 2021 turnaround season quickly approaching, I thought that it might be helpful to point out some key activities to consider as you finalize your plans. While turnaround budgets can be tight especially in our current economic environment, the downstream effects of poor lubrication can impact as much as 30% of a total plant maintenance budget. The following article covers some areas to consider as you plan your next turnaround with reliability in mind