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Predicting oil changes in industrial applications without interrupting operations
Date:3/27/2014

nstallations that are difficult to reach such as offshore wind turbines the method adopted up to now has been either to take oil samples and have them examined in costly laboratory analyses or to simply change the oil at some regular interval. "As a result, a great deal of effort is expended in changing oil that is still actually useable, which is costly for both the operator and the environment," explains Professor Schtze.

In collaboration with partners from other universities and industry, Schtze's team at the Lab for Measurement Technology and at ZeMA have developed a measurement system that can be integrated directly into industrial installations where it continuously measures and monitors oil ageing and degradation while the installation continues to operate. The data from the measurement system are currently transmitted by mobile radio communication so that analysis and assessment can be performed off-site. A portable version of the system also exists. At HANNOVER MESSE, the engineers will be exhibiting a small case that contains all the equipment needed (from the measuring cell to the display unit) for on-site testing of the oil's quality. "Our system allows us to identify and avert potential damage early on. We can predict when maintenance work will be needed and plant operators can plan accordingly," explains Schtze. The method is also suitable for use with hydraulic systems. And the measurement system can test not only oils, but can also be used to monitor the condition of other fluids.

The methods developed by the engineers in Saarbrcken involve shining light into the liquid being monitored. In one case, light from a laser diode is scattered by any particles present in the oil or fluid. "Each different type of particle scatters the light in a particular way, causing more or less light to be measured in the various spatial directions. The scattered light is then recorded by photodiodes and the signals analysed. The system allows us to d
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Contact: Andreas Schütze
schuetze@lmt.uni-saarland.de
49-068-130-24663
Saarland University
Source:Eurekalert  

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