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Phosphate Ester Fluid Solutions (EHC System)

Transforming EHC fluid maintenance in four simple steps.

Despite the excellent lubricating and safety properties of phosphate ester lubricants, many turbine and Electro-Hydraulic Control (EHC) users struggle with their maintenance.

EHC fluid quality related failures and their resulting production losses can be virtually eliminated through EPT’s industry leading fluid maintenance and testing program – the result of over 20 years of specialization in EHC fluid applications. EPT’s 4-part approach is comprehensive in scope, targets common weaknesses, and removes the contamination responsible for servo valve deposits. Our program offers turbine owners and operators a clear path forward to protect their equipment from failure and reduce costs.

Step 1 Oil Analysis for EHC

Standard lab analysis is missing key information necessary to manage EHC fluids.

  • Standard testing (ISO4406) only measures particles greater than 4 microns; however, up to 90% of the total solids by weight can be below this range. For proper servo valve operation, particles
  • Metals in EHC fluids are not routinely tested for, which is problematic because metals instigate the fluid breakdown pathways that increase the rate of acid production by up to 10 times (or the inverse, reduce fluid life by 10 times). Metals are also involved in the formation of gels and other solid deposits.
  • Dissolved contaminants, including fluid break down products, accumulate over time and eventually come out of solution to form deposits on servo valve components. This contamination is not measured in standard testing and frequently impairs servo valve response time, elevating the risk of servo valve malfunction or failure.

EPT offers research-grade laboratory testing that provides a complete picture of your fluid condition.

  • Specialized for EHC
  • Complementary initial assessment
  • Flag problem areas
  • Recommend course of action

Download our complimentary ACE™ Oil Assessment form or Prepaid Analysis form.

Complimentary EHC initial assessment or new install monitoring

Fee-based for continued monitoring, failure investigation/analysis and comprehensive testing

Step 2 ICB™ Filters for EHC

Existing acid filters do not remove the contamination responsible for servo valve sticking. This contamination accumulates over time and is deposited on valve surfaces because of the localized pressure changes.

EPT’s Ion Charge Bonding (ICB) filters take filtration to the next level by not only removing acids, but by removing the contamination responsible for failure. ICB filters offer unmatched performance that will resolve servo valve problems and, when used as part of our phosphate ester fluid maintenance and testing program, will significantly reduce the risk of production losses.

ICB filter products are supported by a team of world-class experts, who are specialists in the maintenance of phosphate ester fluids. With 1000s of global installations to date, many operating for over 20 years, ICB filters have achieved over 100 million hours of operating performance history on some of the largest power stations and super-critical applications worldwide.

Key Benefits of ICB™ Filters

  • Remove the dissolved breakdown products that are responsible for servo valve failures
  • Dramatically increase fluid resistivity values which eliminates a common servo valve failure mode referred to as electro-kinetic-wear or valve erosion
  • Unlike conventional products, ICB filters do not contribute fine particulate, or add dissolved metals that contribute to increased rates of fluid breakdown
  • ICB filters are available in standard size cartridges or as part of a complete EHC fluid treatment system (see SVR)
  • Complete stainless steel construction featuring robotic, spiral welding which provides maximum filter integrity adding a new fail-safe in the EHC fluid conditioning system

EPT has tailored the capabilities of ICB™ filters according to the in-service quality of the phosphate ester lubricants (sold under the brand names: Fyrquel®, Fyrquel® EHC, Fyrquel® EHC Plus, Fyrquel® GT, Reolube® TurboFluid 46XC, Reolube® TurboFluid B, Castrol Anvol® 46 XC, Shell Turbo® Fluid DR 46, Mobil Pyrotec® HFD 46, and many others) as follows:

  • ICB A for phosphate ester maintenance with Acid Numbers
  • ICB C for phosphate ester restoration with Acid Numbers >0.5 mg KOH/g (contact EPT for additional technical support)

Fyrquel is a registered trademark of ICL, Reolube is a registered trademark of Chemtura, Anvol is a registered trademark of Castrol. Shell Turbo is a trademark of Shell Oil Company. Mobil Pyrotec is a trademark of Exxon Mobil Corporation.

Step 3 TMR™ N2 System

Most water removal systems use heat, vacuum, and pumps, which are all expensive to operate and maintain, to force the separation of the water from the lubricant.

What is not understood is that in many applications, the primary mode of water ingression is atmosphere itself. When the moisture content of the atmosphere is higher than the moisture content in the lubricant, the atmosphere provides an unlimited source of water.

Using mechanical separation systems in this scenario, simply dehydrates the lubricant to an unsaturated state so that it can absorb more water from atmosphere. This creates an energy intensive cycle that fails to address the primary cause of water ingression.

Total Moisture Removal Nitrogen systems (TMR™ N2) cost effectively remove all three forms of water (free, emulsified and dissolved) from lubricants and hydraulic fluids through mass transfer, which is a highly effective, non-mechanical process.

Key Benefits of TMR™ N2 Systems

  • High purity, dry, inert N2 (98%) is generated at the source, providing unlimited capacity to reduce existing moisture
  • Will maintain water at very low levels
  • Free flowing N2 is exhausted out the breather element or building exhaust reversing the typical flow configuration and eliminating one of the key ingression points for water and particulate contamination
  • Eliminates lubricant contact with oxygen, reducing oxidation and promoting the removal of H2, CO, C2H4, and other harmful breakdown gases
  • Normally eliminates the need for expensive vacuum dehydration equipment or disposable filter elements when water ingression rates are low or solely from atmosphere
  • Very low maintenance requirements (30 minutes per year)
  • Quick return on investment (ROI)
  • For applications where N2 is not appropriate – i.e. confined spaces, TMR Air systems, which work in a similar fashion are available

Step 4 ECR™ System

EHC fluids generally darken over time as they accumulate fine particles that are less than 1 micron in size. This contamination is not measured with ISO particle code analyses, nor is it removed via mechanical particulate filters.

Fine particulate contamination accounts for up to 90% of system contamination suggesting that as little as 10% of the EHC particulate contamination is being removed with existing filtration. This type of contamination is harmful in EHC applications as it causes increased air entrainment, accelerating fluid breakdown and leads to a more serious form of breakdown called micro dieseling.

EPT’s Electrostatic Contamination Removal (ECR) fluid conditioning systems are an essential tool for EHC fluid maintenance. When used as directed and as part of proper fluid maintenance program, ECR systems remove up to 90% of particulate contamination below 5 microns, decrease air entrainment, improve fluid color and increase resistivity.

Key Benefits of ECR™ Systems

  • Removes the sub-micron particles responsible for fluid darkening
  • Reduces total dirt load typically by 75% (by mass) or more
  • Protects servo valves from mechanical wear

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