wind turbine

Synthetic wind turbine gear oil

Wind turbine power generation capacity and turbine size are both increasing, which drives wind power’s competitiveness by reducing the levelized cost of electricity. However, increasing power generation increases the loads on the gearbox and bearings, which increases the stress on the lubricants needed to protect the equipment.

Going up-tower costs your wind industry customers money. That’s why they want long-lasting gear oil that minimizes maintenance while enhancing equipment life and reliability. Lubricant manufacturers must formulate lubricants that improve gearbox reliability by providing advanced micropitting and wear protection, as well as foam performance, so your customers can extend drain intervals even in more extreme operating environments.

timeline power rotor diameter

We can help. Our SpectraSyn Elite metallocene polyalphaolefin (mPAO) synthetic base stocks are higher performing base stocks providing a higher viscosity index (VI), excellent low-temperature performance and enhanced foam performance compared to conventional polyalphaolefin (cPAO)-based formulations. These performance advantages help formulations meet and even exceed demands for next-generation wind turbine gear oils.

Due to the advanced performance of mPAO, over 40% of the HiVis PAO market has converted to it. The initial-fill wind turbine gear oil market has essentially transitioned to mPAO-based formulations.


Initial-fill market evolution

Wind turbine gear oils have evolved from a mineral oil-based (MO) industrial gear oil, to an advanced micropitting cPAO-based wind turbine gear oil, and now to an advanced micropitting mPAO-based wind turbine gear oil tailored for extending drain intervals even in extreme operating environments. This performance difference over cPAO-based formulations is transitioning the initial-fill wind turbine gear oil market to mPAO-based formulations.

Over 40% of the HiVis PAO market has converted to mPAO

Next-generation formulations

New base stock innovations require novel formulating strategies. It’s no different for mPAOs. Formulators need to modify their strategies to harness the value of SpectraSyn Elite ™ mPAO. One of the key focus areas when formulating with mPAO is to ensure proper solubility so that the additives are within the solubility sphere. Some formulators have experienced issues with additive solubility or additive fall-out when substituting mPAO for cPAO. Solubility is best accomplished when the attractions between molecules (called the solubility parameters) of both components are similar – thus the maxim “like dissolves like.”

We’ve developed multiple tools for formulators to ensure proper formulation solvency:

  • Co-base stock selection and treat rate
  • Additive package/components selection
  • Use of dispersants
Synthetics bottles

SpectraSyn Elite™ mPAO ISO VG 320 formulated gear oils cold storage stability

As you can see, our fully formulated gear oil solution demonstrates excellent solubility after six months at ~0°C.

Additionally, we’re working with additive companies to enable formulators to capitalize on mPAO by:

  • Optimizing base stock and additive compatibility
  • Progressing industrial gear oil testing and industry approvals

mPAO gear oil formulation test results

Our research shows excellent FE8 bearing performance in a fully formulated mPAO industrial gear oil.

Contact us to find out more about our formulated mPAO-based wind turbine gear oil solution.

spectrasyn elite sio results
industry volume growth

Next generation base stocks

We provide a broad portfolio of synthetic base stocks and world-class technical expertise to help you formulate high-performance wind turbine gear oils. To meet their challenges with innovative formulations, an increasing number of lubricant manufacturers are turning to our advanced SpectraSyn Elite™ metallocene polyalphaolefin (mPAO) base stocks for:

  • A higher viscosity index
  • Improved low-temperature properties
  • Enhanced film thickness
  • Lower foaming

Let’s talk about how we can support your success.

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