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17/08/2018 News

What is a turbine and how are they used?




Total’s lubricants cover a huge range of markets and uses, but some of the most high-performance applications we develop for are turbines.


Covered by the TOTAL PRESLIA and auxiliary grades of Azolla AF, Nevastane SH and Hydransafe lubricant ranges, turbines come in all shapes and sizes and are used for all manner of purposes – how are they used and why do they need the right type of lubricant to perform correctly?



What is a turbine?

Turbines are devices that produce energy by harnessing the movements of fluids, controlling them and passing them through centrally spindled vanes or blades (known as a rotor assembly) to make them spin.

When attached to a generator or set of gears, the spinning movement of the rotor assembly can produce electrical power. Most electrical power plants use turbines to generate energy, using oil, gas, coal or nuclear reactions to produce steam and drive the turbine.

Turbine technology is well over a century old but is still being perfected. Most power plants using turbines manage to transfer around 35-40% of fuel heat into electrical energy, with the rest being lost as waste heat or to friction. Efficiency can be improved with waste heat recovery systems, however.

There are many different types of turbine, though the most common include:

  • Wind turbines, which harness the flow of atmospheric air from areas of high to low pressure
  • Water turbines, which use the power of pressurised water, such as in hydroelectric plants
  • Steam turbines, which use heated, high-pressure steam – most power plants utilise steam turbines
  • Gas turbines, such as jet engines, which use compressed air and the gases from combustion to produce electricity or thrust.

Total’s turbine lubricant range

Spanning practically all types of turbines, Total’s range of turbine lubricants offer high levels of performance. Whatever the component or machinery, we have a turbine oil at the right viscosity.

Total Preslia 

The Preslia range of turbine oils have been designed for the lubrication of hydraulic, steam and gas turbines, particularly turbomachine gears and regulation systems. Available in 32, 46, 68 and 100 ISO viscosity grades, they offer protection against oxidation, have notable anti-foam and water release properties and can resist extremes of temperature and pressure.

Total Azolla 

Total’s Azolla oils are formulated to provide hydraulic systems with exceptional protection against wear and oxidation, and have very high levels of thermal stability, increasing the time between oil changes. Due to not containing heavy metals or zinc, they’re also well-suited to applications where environmental safety is paramount.

Total Nevastane

For turbines operated by the food industry, Total Nevastane offers lubrication in severe load and temperature conditions, all while being completely food-safe, and ISO 21469, Kosher and Halal certified.

Total Hydransafe 

Developed for hydraulic circuits and governor systems in steam turbines, Total Hydransafe offers OEM-level performance while being fire resistant to ISO 12922 standards. This is alongside having properties including excellent oxidation stability, low volatility, excellent shear stability and very quick demulsibility.

Turbines are used the world over in all manner of applications but need exceptional lubricants to operate correctly. For more information on Total’s turbine lubricant range, please contact our team.