ILMA Compoundings - September 2020 - 20

thermal aspects. When heat is not a
consideration, "mineral oil can creep
back into the picture."
Synthetic greases are achieving
highest penetration in offshore installations but decreasing in world markets,
according to Kline & Co. OEMs
and wind farm operators are striving
to increase maintenance intervals for
cost-savings, even as the OEMs "are
struggling to become more competitive
as the market is consolidating," said
Gabriel Tarle, a project lead in Kline &
Co.'s Energy Practice and manager of
its study of lubricants for wind turbines.
(Find the latest Kline & Co. report
on lubricants for wind turbines at
klinegroup.com/reports/lubricants-forwind-turbines.)
"Some mineral grease formulations
have similar change intervals to syn-

20

SEPTEMBER 2020

| COMPOUNDINGS | ILMA.ORG

thetic grease," Tarle said. "It is more
a question of operating conditions
rather than change intervals for grease.
Custom formulations have made their
way into the offshore segment, as it is
more demanding."

Markets
Globally, wind power set a supply-side
record in 2019, totaling more than
63 gigawatts (GW) of new capacity,
according to the Global Wind Energy
Council. Thirty-three suppliers
installed 22,893 new turbines that
year. By 2024, the council expects a
compound annual growth rate in total
capacity of 9.1%, from 650.1 GW in
2019 to 1,005 by 2024.
Since 1992, the U.S. wind power
market has been driven, in part, by
federal production tax credits (PTCs),

but the PTC incentives dry up after
2020. As turbines erected during the
rush years start to age, lubricant manufacturers could see a rise in demand
due to the need for changeouts, in the
U.S. and around the world, said Casey.
Global supply chain disruptions
caused by COVID-19 shutdowns, plus
trends toward economic nationalism
and protectionism, will "hurt wind
energy perhaps more than other
industries," noted Tarle. Shutdowns in
such countries as Italy, Germany and
Ecuador mean restrictions in key raw
materials, including balsa wood and
PVC, and essential components, such
as main bearings, gearbox bearings and
insulated gate bipolar transistor chips,
the semi-conductors that help convert
electricity and link generators to the grid.
"The 'one-country-has-it-all' does
not exist in wind turbine manufacturing," said Tarle.
Tarle also expects that rising demand
for direct-drive wind turbines will
have a "strong negative impact" on
gear oil demand. Plus, the emergence
of rare-earth-free magnetically geared
generators, which is driving down manufacturing costs by reducing excessive
use of permanent magnet, is "increasing the odds for further penetration of
direct-drive wind turbines."

Partnering With
Manufacturers
New turbines coming to market are
growing in size, with average rated
capacity passing 2.75 kilowatts in
2019, a 72% increase over 2009,
"demonstrating the immense progress
the industry is making in technology
innovation," reported the Global
Wind Energy Council.
Those larger-capacity turbines
will "somewhat negatively impact the
volume of lubricants since they are
equipped with proficient conditionmonitoring systems," said Tarle.
As innovation drives the process,
wind turbine manufacturers demand


http://www.klinegroup.com/reports/lubricants-for-wind-turbines http://www.klinegroup.com/reports/lubricants-for-wind-turbines http://www.ILMA.ORG

ILMA Compoundings - September 2020

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ILMA Compoundings - September 2020 - Cover1
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ILMA Compoundings - September 2020 - 1
ILMA Compoundings - September 2020 - 2
ILMA Compoundings - September 2020 - 3
ILMA Compoundings - September 2020 - 4
ILMA Compoundings - September 2020 - 5
ILMA Compoundings - September 2020 - 6
ILMA Compoundings - September 2020 - 7
ILMA Compoundings - September 2020 - 8
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