A more efficient wind turbine that will generate even more wind driven electricity is now possible with the introduction of the new Dow UCON GL-320 lubricant, according to the company's press release. Dow introduced the new product during the 2010 STLE Annual Meeting in Las Vegas. Dow UCON GL-320 lubricant was developed to better lubricate the gearboxes of wind turbines, though the same lubricant can be used effectively for other types of gearboxes.
Power producers may produce and sell more power with this lubricant for three reasons: First, in cold weather, turbines can shut down due to filter failures caused by high lubricant viscosity. The higher inherent viscosity index of UCON GL-320 lubricant addresses this issue without the need for additional VI improvers. Second, when turbine output is at the maximum, high gear oil temperatures can lead to shutdowns. UCON GL-320 lubricant has a higher heat capacity than hydrocarbon oils which allows it to move more heat, reducing these shutdowns. Lastly, UCON GL-320 lubricant has better lubricity at ambient conditions meaning that it has the potential to shift the power vs. wind speed curve to the left, leading to greater power output when the production is less than the maximum design output.
Dow UCON GL-320 lubricant is a new polyalkylene glycol (PAG) based lubricant developed based on Dow's experience manufacturing PAG based products. The combination of the PAG base along with a proprietary Dow additive package yields a ready to use product with specific performance properties required for the successful operation of wind turbine and other gearbox operations. UCON GL-320 lubricant is available in bulk, drums, or 20 L containers.