More Stories from Castrol Liquid Engineering

New Age Generators are a Gas! 

The Glenelg Waste Water Treatment facility in suburban Adelaide has been in operation since before the First World War. Times have certainly changed, and the demands placed on the processors of sewerage have increased enormously in eighty years.

As has been seen in other capitol cities, the public has high expectations about sewerage treatment. The peculiar aromatic quality of the byproducts also needs to be addressed.

These challenges gave rise to some innovative solutions at United Water's modernised plant.

The electricity requirements to power the plant's substantial equipment are so high that it cannot be drawn from the standard grid, so most of the machines need to be run by the plant's own generators.

United Water, ever conscious of public sensitivity, now uses its volatile by-products to power their two Jenvacher V16, 650 kW generators. The specially built, 39 litre JMS 316 internal-combustion engines can run on either "bio-gas" or standard natural gas. Maintenance of the engines, while using the clean natural variety, is easy enough with 800 hours comfortably achieved before the 300 litres of lube oil requires replacement.

However, the smelly alternative can produce some problems. The high content of Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S) "rotten egg gas" significantly reduces the service life of the oil in United Water's engines, requiring drains roughly twice as often.

United Water engineers trialed all the major brands of lubricant specified for these unusual types of engines, but found only one, Castrol NG440 delivered satisfactory results. One brand even caused a complete generator failure.

"The Castrol product proved superior in all our tests," said Mechanical Team Leader Leon Reemst. "We achieved a further 100 hours service from Castrol than the next best oil."

NG 440 is Castrol's prime recommendation for most leading 4-stroke industrial gas engines including Ingersoll-Rand, Caterpillar, Superior, Waukesha and Cooper-Bessemer. Successful field trials have also been carried out on these brands.

NG 440's key feature of low-ash, low phosphorus content provide outstanding deposit and wear control as well as superior resistance to oxidation and nitration. Extended filter life and oil drain periods can also be expected.

Bio-gas (methane) applications, Castrol stresses, need to be individually assessed due to the variation in volatile organic contamination present in the specific gas.

Castrol representatives will work closely with engineering staff, as they did at United Water, to fine-tune NG 440 to any particular application.