There are many different types of units that require lube or hydraulic flushing prior to initial operation or startup. Air compressors, gas turbines, steam turbines, and hydraulic systems—all of these have a specified OEM cleanliness procedure, and often a cleanliness criterion. In the past, a number of machines required a set duration for all phases of cleaning, which often involved more than a month or two to complete. This process was very expensive, often requiring continuous operation of system pumps.
Engineering a Lube Oil Flush
As the number of projects increased, a need for more flushing providers was apparent. In addition, as units got larger and the bearing lines increased, many providers still used the same 1 or 2-inch hoses for their jumpers. This resulted in a highly ineffective procedure and did not reduce the duration of the flush.
With low efficiency and projects that required shorter completion schedules, a need was created for investigating processes that could reduce schedule and still provide the OEM level of cleanliness required to release for operation.
B&W Energy Services took the lead in engineering lube oil flushes that could dramatically reduce flushing durations with superior results. By designing external pump flushing skids, we could now increase volumes and velocities. By designing high flow rate filtration systems, we could now reduce flushing durations tremendously. The high volumes and higher velocities now created the ability to heat the oil through increased friction, changing the viscosities of the oil, which helped carry debris back through the external system filtration units at an increased rate. Heat exchangers were designed for the external flushing skid in an effort to cycle the lube oil temperatures. All of these technical advancements now produced a 5-7 day flush, versus the 1-2 month process.
Choosing The Right Provider
The advancements B&W Energy Services created for the lube oil flushing process bore valuable results. Smaller lube oil flushing providers risk bringing contaminants to a project, if they are not properly evaluating each system or taking care to maintain and keep equipment cleaned and ready for service. It is for these many reasons that B&W Energy Services engineered lube oil flushing programs became the best in the business. Let us help you with your next project and help bring your project in on time and on budget.