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If the fluid in the control system of a turbine is contaminated, what action do you perform?

Anshuman  Agrawal's picture
Managing Director Minimac Systems Pvt Ltd

A Hard Core Engineer with extreme interest in equipment, machinery, and mechanical engineering.Chasing a dream to impact 4 billion Dollar annual industrial wallet spent towards Plant...

  • Member since 2021
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  • Apr 20, 2021

1. Throw it & use new fluid

2. Purify & reuse

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I assume you are referring to the hydraulic fluid used for control of valves, turning gear, etc. Depending upon the level of contaminants and their constituents, conditioning the fluid via filtration, centrifuge or other means is a viable option. However, if water is present and it becomes emulsified with the oil, water can be difficult to remove, especially with corrosion products in the mixture. Whenever I find any hydraulic fluid in a contaminated state, I usually drain, flush and refill. Flush and refill is most often the least cost and quickest procedure.

I am by no means an expert in this area. I speak only from experience with compressor fluids. 

I imagine that it depends on what it is contaminated with.  Solids can generally be removed, though not completely.  Analysis of the solids removed often can give information on wear of the system. Water is much harder to get out.  If it has been degraded by heat, it is much less likely that it can be used for the same purpose.

But the fluid will have specifications that must be met. Where there are many turbines, it may be economically viable to gather used fluids from many systems and treat it in bulk, instead of one turbine at a time, and reuse. But it would have to piloted to determine if it provides any advantage to just changing it out with new fluid.

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