Lower energy consumption by using correct lubricants
It is a simple fact that better lubrication can lead to dramatic energy savings and an improved bottom line.
During conversions from one form of energy to another, some useable energy is lost. These energy loses can be extremely costly. The science of physics reveals that lubrication can play a role in reducing energy losses by reducing friction.
Placed between two moving surfaces, a lubricant decreases the coefficient of friction. Naturally this would also mean the more a lubricant decreases friction, the less energy the lubricated machine consumes.
Monitoring temperature changes is a great way to optimise lubrication programme performance. Increased friction in a piece of moving equipment results in higher operating temperatures.
Friction is a result of metal-to-metal contact that occurs between two opposing surfaces moving relative to on another, even between highly machined surfaces, under microscopic view, asperity contact occurs.
The greater amount of contact, the greater the amount of friction. As a result, more energy is required to move the surfaces relative to one another, this friction results in higher electrical power costs.
Therefore when friction is reduced, less electricity is required to drive a gearbox, compressor, pump or other piece of equipment.
A case in point involves Atlas Copco rotary screw air compressors (GA30 and a GA230) used at a New Zealand building manufacturing plant.
Its two older compressors have relatively high total running hours (approximately 94,000 hours for the GA30 and 67,000 hours for the GA230). Each year, the GA30 is used approximately 4,000 hours, while the GA230 runs approximately 1000 hours. The two air compressors hold 15 litres of oil each.
To track results, the company took amperage measurements before and after the conversion to the new oil, and then used the formula shown below to calculate energy savings.
In energy savings alone, converting to a high performance lubricant for the two machines will save the company a total of $1,676. Based upon cost savings and annual hours of operation, the LE oil will pay for itself in six months for the GA30 and in 30 months for the GA230. Other benefits, including extended oil change intervals and decreased maintenance, will result in additional savings.