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Turbine Lubricant Varnish Mitigation Solutions

Turbine Lubricant Varnish Mitigation

Transforming Turbine Lubricant Maintenance in four simple steps.

Lubricant varnish production is a problem that will affect most rotating equipment at some point in its normal service lifetime.

While varnish is not a complex issue, most users lack the basic tools required to test and maintain their lubricants. As a result, equipment owners experience billions of dollars in avoidable losses each year due to lost production from lubricant varnish. With tight capital budgets, many equipment operators react to lubricant varnish as failure is near rather than proactively managing their lubricant condition.

EPT offers a comprehensive program that will not only remove varnish, but will also remove the precursors, preventing their accumulation, thereby eliminating the potential for varnish formation.

Step 1 Oil Analysis for Turbine Lubricants

As a starting point to EPT’s varnish program, we provide a complimentary assessment and detailed report to outline your oil’s current condition and to also demonstrate the impact of our SVR system technology in cleaning your lubricant sample.

  • Complementary assessment
  • Specialized for Turbine Lubricants
  • Flag problem areas
  • Use lab-scale SVR treatment to demonstrate the technology’s potential to clean your lubricant sample
  • Recommend course of action

For existing SVR™ system installs, complimentary assessments are provided until successful performance can be documented. Continued monitoring after this point is also available on a fee-for-service basis with most customers choosing to maintain the high level service offering.

Download Oil Analysis submission form or request prepaid sample kit.

Complimentary turbine lubricant initial assessment or new install monitoring

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

Sample Turbine Varnish Removal Report

Step 2 SVR™ System

Lubricant varnish forms when a lubricant’s capacity to hold dissolved oil breakdown products is exceeded.

EPT’s Soluble Varnish Removal (SVR) system removes and prevents accumulation of these dissolved oil breakdown products during normal turbine operation so that lubricant varnish cannot form – period.

The SVR™ system targets and eliminates the primary cause of varnish formation; whereas, all other systems (electrostatic, agglomeration, and depth filtration) must wait for varnish to form before they are of any value.

Key Benefits of SVR™ Systems

  • ICB filter purification technology for soluble varnish contaminant removal:
    • Over 40 million successful operating hours
    • ICB filters will not affect turbine oil additives
    • 4-6x more capacity than competing varnish removal systems
    • Unlike competing systems, SVR purifies 100% of reservoir volume each day
  • Quickly reduces and prevents servo valve sticking
  • SVR system quickly reduces varnish potential in large gas turbines as measured by the MPC tests
  • Unlike particulate removal technologies, SVR works all the time including operating conditions when varnish is dissolved in the oil
  • Eliminates the varnish formation cycle that typically occurs when the oil cools during turbine shut down
  • Removes all forms of varnish (solid and dissolved)
  • Low cost of ownership over 10 years with defined consumable costs
  • ICB filter cartridges are changed annually when installed on common sized reservoirs and used in maintenance mode
  • Small footprint and straight-forward operation
  • Low maintenance: Turn it on and let it run, that’s it!
  • Guaranteed to work with comprehensive analysis included at no charge until results are documented

Step 3 NSD™ Filters

Filter sparking is a common problem within the gas turbine application in any high velocity oil line. The electrical discharge, or sparking, is caused by a similar process as walking across a carpet and touching a metal surface. The high flow rate of fluid through the majority of the mechanical filters on the market causes friction, which, in turn, generates static energy.

When static energy is generated in a low conductivity environment, the oil resists dissipating the energy which creates the opportunity for static accumulation. When this occurs, the energy will eventually discharge in the form of a spark which produces temperatures of up to 5000°C (>9000°F) destroying the oil molecules contacting the spark.

Non-Spark Discharge (NSD) filters provide the same filtration efficiency as standard filters, but suppress filter sparking by using very high quality materials designed to produce minimal friction between the filter and the oil. Other types of no-spark filter elements reduce sparking by increasing the micron rating of the filter or adding conductivity modifying chemicals to the filter material. You can be assured that our NSD filters will provide an exact micron rating, without the use of harmful chemical additives.

Key Benefits of NSD™ Filters

  • Element and media technology optimized to prevent spark discharge and minimize potential energy in bearing lubrication and hydraulic control systems
  • Prevents oil degradation caused by thermal events associated with element spark discharge
  • Prevents antioxidant additive depletion and extends useful fluid life
  • Available as a drop in replacement for any existing filter size. Provide the part number of the filter you would like to upgraded

Step 4 MPC Varnish Potential Testing

Lubricant varnish potential testing (MPC, Membrane Patch Colorimetry, ASTM D7843) is an essential part of turbine and compressor lubricant management.

Varnish potential testing identifies the propensity of a lubricant to form solid deposits so that maintenance professionals can avoid catastrophic failures.

While most customers are able to take advantage of our complimentary initial assessment, or SVR System Monitoring (for new SVR system installations) remote sites or commercial oil labs require on-site MPC testing. For this purpose, users have the option to purchase a spectrophotometer and either a laboratory grade MPC test kit or as stainless steel MPC portable test kit.

The video provides an overview of the test and shows the equipment and accessories required to complete it.

Key Features of MPC Test Kits

  • High-quality, laboratory-grade equipment
  • Includes all materials and consumables required to prepare the patch used for measuring MPC varnish potential
  • Simple to use, with step-by step instructions and video demonstration
  • Expert support from the EPT chemistry team who has completed 1000s of MPC tests

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