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Lincoln single-line system keeps wind turbines lubricated under harsh conditions

The design of the Lincoln single-line lubrication system from SKF ensures they withstand the most challenging conditions, making them ideally suited to wind turbines.

Lincoln 653S pump,
Lincoln 653S pump,

Lincoln’s robust single-line lubrication system is ideal for wind turbines and other applications that must withstand harsh operating conditions. The system automatically dispenses precise amounts of lubricant to all lubrication points in a wind turbine while it is in operation.

The heart of the system, the Lincoln 603S or 653S pump, includes accessories such as a programmable controller, pressure switch/transducer and vent valve, and is designed to be easy to program. A polyurethane pinion is also available for the lubrication of gear drives. Simple to install, it applies a consistent lubrication film to the tooth flank, which reduces wear and provides corrosion protection.

SE1 suction elements can be included in the system to extract used lubricant from wind turbine bearings and stored in a choice of container sizes, dependant on application. In addition, QSL, SL and VR series injectors are suitable for operation at high pressure, and their output can be set individually. Injector function is monitored visually via indicator pins.

“The greatest benefit of the single line system is, unlike progressive-based systems, if one lubrication point becomes blocked or a single injector fails, then the rest of the system will continue to function,” Matt Preston, lubrication systems application engineer at SKF, said. “Lincoln single-line lubrication systems from SKF are easy to install, available as pre-set or adjustable models and suitable for most lubricants. They can pump long distances and within a wide temperature range, and in the case of the 603S/653S system, can withstand the harsh operating conditions that are part of wind turbine operation.”

The simple, overall design of the system means that it is easy to expand and operate – and easy to service, as injectors are easy to remove and replace. This exchange can be done between lubrication cycles, so there is no lubricant wastage or excessive downtime.

For larger systems, an extra pressure switch can be used for added pressure control and ensures correct lubrication.

Automated lubrication systems can lead to significant savings in the maintenance costs of a wind turbine. These include: freeing up the time of maintenance technicians for other tasks; reducing the overall need for lubricant by dispensing it more accurately; and dispensing lubricant exactly when it is needed, which extends component life and the time between service intervals.

As well as being fitted as standard – as is the case with more modern turbines – the system can easily be retrofitted to older turbine types, enabling service intervals to be extended, ultimately reducing maintenance costs.