Demonstration of Sensor Monitoring of Lubricants



Published Sep 4, 2023
Kyoko Kojima


Due to the spread of carbon neutral, the effective use of lubricant has been drawing attention. Since the main component of lubricant is petroleum-derived hydrocarbon oil, reducing the amount used by 1 kg will reduce CO2 by approximately 3 kg. The value of CO2 reduction is very important. In order to reduce the amount of lubricant used, there is a movement to reduce the frequency of lubricant exchange or continue to use lubricant without exchanging it. However, it is known that lubricant-induced mechanical failures occur. For this reason, equipment condition monitoring using oil sensors has been spread. The color of the lubricant, also called machine blood, indicates the condition of the machine. The oil sensor measures contamination, which has a fatal effect on machine failure, and oxidation degradation, which is related to the performance of lubricant and the machine failure. Contamination includes water and wear debris, and oxidative degradation includes consumption of additives and oxidation of base oil. By digitizing the hue of wind turbine gear oil through color diagnosis using an oil sensor, the oil contamination and degradation is identified. Additives in the gear oil were quantified by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry, and it was found that the color change of gear oil was highly correlated with the depletion of the extreme pressure additive. It is known that the depletion of the extreme pressure additive is correlated with the useful life of the gear oil. Using the technique, the remaining life diagnosis of the gear oil was shown. Demonstration in the gearbox with the oil sensor was succeeded by avoidance of the effects of air bubbles in the gear oil.  

Abstract 17 | PDF Downloads 40



lubricant, oil sensor, color

GWEC, (2021). Market Intelligence.

Colonado, D. (2016), First results of a testing campaign to validate oil sensors for wind turbine gearboxes”, Presentation at VGB Conference – Maintenance of Wind Power Plants.
Regular Session Papers