China recently introduced national standards for greases and lubes used in wind turbines.
Jointly developed by Sinopec Ltd. and Anshan Haihua Oil Grease Chemical Co. along with several major Chinese wind turbine manufacturers, including Dongfang Electric and Guodian United Power, the GBT33540 standard – effective Oct. 1 – establishes performance parameters for wind turbine oils including open gear greases, bearing greases, gear oils and hydraulic oils.
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For example, greases should fall between 290 and 320 per 0.1 millimeter in the GB/T 269 cone penetration test, which measures the consistency of greases for yaw gears, pitch control bearings and other turbine components. Among other tests, the standard also requires SH/T 0202, or the four-ball method, to measure bearing greases performance under extreme pressure.
We studied the standards in Europe and the United States to make sure that the China standards are in line with international standards but also suitable to serve Chinas conditions, Pan Wei, a Sinopec engineer involved in the standards development, told Lube Report Asia.
Chinas wind farms are located in regions with very different climate types from those in the European Union and the U.S., so we need to have our own standards, Pan added. The majority of Chinas wind farms are located on hills in remote areas in the North, such as the Xinjiang autonomous region and in Gansu Province, which both experience extremely low winter temperatures.
Chinas wind turbines had for some time only been imported, bringing with them foreign original equipment manufacturers requirements for international lubricants. However, recent years saw Chinese wind turbine manufacturers designing and manufacturing turbines of their own. Pan said the development body is happy to try Chinese lube brands as long as their quality is ensured.
So together we developed the standards for turbine manufactures and Chinese lube producers to ensure quality, Pan added.
But like many other Chinese national standards, the wind turbine oil standards are not mandatory.
We are happy to see China has its own standards and it could serve as an important reference, but our clients standards will be our priority when it comes to compliance, said an anonymous marketing manager at Shenyang Original Chemical Co., one of Chinas few private wind turbine oil suppliers.