Considering the previous degraded oil oxidation problems at the facility a plan was initiated to change the existing lubricant to synthetic oil and then make a thermal comparison to see if the gearbox will operate cooler with the new oil. If there is significant change in the operation, then 31 fan gearboxes will be replaced with Mobil SHC 630 Synthetic Gear Oil. Utilizing this oil will improve oxidation stability, and the lower operating temperature will improve oil life and potentially extend component life.
The first thermal image shows the gear while operating with the original lubricant. This cooling tower fan gear was operating at an elevated temperature. Peak temperatures are approximately 84°C. The oil was then changed and the second thermal image clearly shows that changing the oil indeed dropped the overall temperatures.