Energy Efficient Industrial Gear Lubricants Authors: D. Blain, A. Galiano­Roth, R. Russo, K. Harrington


Global energy demand is predicted to be about 30 percent higher in 2040 compared to 2010. Energy demand growth will slow as economies mature, population growth moderates and efficiency gains accelerate. This paper will focus on the third factor: energy efficiency. The industrial sector consumes almost 48% of global energy, with the remainder being used for residential/commercial and transportation. Clearly, improvements in energy efficiency in the industrial setting can have a major impact on overall global energy use and resultant CO2 emissions.
There are multiple sources of lubricant­related energy loss in industrial equipment in general, and gearboxes in particular. These include frictional losses due to metal­to­metal contact, frictional traction losses under elasto­hydrodynamic lubrication conditions and windage/churning loses in the bulk oil. All three of these factors can be improved by using a properly formulated lubricant, with carefully selected base oils and additives to improve efficiency.
ExxonMobil has developed a series of industrial lubricants that can reduce energy usage by up to 4% relative to conventional lubricants. These savings have been documented in both carefully controlled laboratory testing and in extensive evaluations in actual industrial equipment in the field. Experiments to measure lubricant­related energy efficiency benefits are inherently challenging. Valid determinations of these benefits require precise measurements and controls, meticulous attention to detail and appropriate statistical analysis. In addition to the energy efficiency benefits, these oils can reduce equipment operating temperatures, resulting in increased component and lubricant life. This leads to longer oil drain intervals, and less used oil disposal.
ExxonMobil defines sustainability as having three components: social development, economic growth and environmental protection. In addition to discussing all of the points above, this paper will also describe how the new energy efficient lubricants contribute to each of these sustainability attributes.
ISBN: 1-978-61481-035-3 Pages: 16
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