Getting the most out of lubricant analyses on a wind turbine fleet

Hugo Fanlo Virgos, Analyst, EDP Renewables


In order for wind energy to remain profitable after subsidies removal, big efforts are directed towards reducing the cost of maintenance in production plants. While reducing maintenance tasks may initially decrease the maintenance cost, in the long run, the total cost of ownership may be affected due to increased levels of failures. Proper lubrication is accepted to be of utmost importance for the normal function of many rotating components, however it is often overlooked during maintenance tasks. In this sense, it is estimated that as much as 70% of loss of function in machinery can be attributed to mechanical or corrosive wear. Oil and grease analysis can help detecting potential failure sources and revealing progressing failures at an early stage, but a good strategy needs to be implemented in order to provide a proper return on investment. Traditionally, absolute values of the different parameters analyzed were checked to ensure they are within the limits, but the added value can be greatly increased by analyzing parameter trends. This and other improvements have been implemented within EDPR predictive maintenance program in an effort to extract the maximum advantage of oil analyses.


1. Spending time on analyzing trends, pays-off.
2. Think globally, act locally.
3. Learn from your and others’ mistakes.


Hugo Fanlo Virgós is an Analyst at Performance Management department in EDP Renewables since 2015, where he designs, develops and makes use of different tools aimed at improving the power generation of wind turbines. Graduated from the University of Oviedo in 2004, with a master degree in Chemistry and a PhD from the University of Groningen, he is currently interested in predictive maintenance including software-based condition monitoring tools, vibration monitoring and oil analysis.