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More than 100 tons of steel, rotating at 3600 rpm, is supported by plain bearings on a cushion of oil that is thinner than a human hair. In power plants around the world, the same fluid dynamics take place day-in and day-out without much notice.
Lost revenue at seasonal peaks can be counted in millions of dollars. An average utility sells electricity for about $50/MW hr during nonpeak periods, and as much as $1,000/MW hr during peak periods. Poor selection and maintenance of turbine oil can result in production losses exceeding $500,000 per day.
When selecting a turbine oil for steam, gas, hydro and aero-derivative turbines, oil supplier services and commitment to the customer should be evaluated as part of the selection process.