TEXACO HDAX: Technical Q and A
Q. Are there any pieces of up-coming legislation which will affect the Combined Heat & power generation sector in Europe, or further afield?
Overall, the European MCP (Medium Combustion Plant) directive regulates pollutant emissions from the combustion of fuels in plants with a rated thermal input equal to or greater than 1 Megawatt thermal (MWth) and less than 50 MWth. In Germany the TA-Luft 2017 changed to ‘44.BIMSchV’ as a result of the European directive, this will have an effect on new installations in place since 2018 and existing installations as of 2025.
Q. What beneficial services do Texaco Lubricants provide to customers in addition to their products?
The Texaco subject matter experts (SMEs) can offer real value to customers. Texaco provides natural gas engine oil competency training to OEMs, end users and those who market our products. After training, personnel are able to perform detailed ‘Best in Class’ assessments, which use a range of testing criteria over and above a site survey, to identify potential areas for improvement and respond to any issues with adapted recommendations. The assessments will guide product selection and can deliver a better understanding of product integrity so that products are stored correctly with adequate filtration and condition monitoring in place. Drain intervals, inventory and vendor performance are also fully surveyed, adding to knowledge of programme management via a robust maintenance plan.
This knowledge and support combined with the data available via Texaco Lubewatch is one of the finest condition-based monitoring/used-oil analysis programmes available, enabling customers to extract maximum value from their equipment.
Q. Current industrial engine technology and design features much higher temperatures on pistons than previous engines. How have Texaco HDAX lubricants been formulated to meet those challenges?
The latest high BMEP engines are made with steel pistons as opposed to traditional aluminium. Steel piston technology allows for higher HP increased compression and higher combustion temperature, thus making the engine more efficient. High BMEP engines require a modern technology lubricant that is able to work within the extreme temperatures and low oil consumption of the engine. These modern Texaco HDAX engine oils are specifically designed for long oil drain intervals to be aligned with the engine’s maintenance service programme.
Q. What do you see as the key challenges for lubricant suppliers over the next 10 years?
Continuous review and strengthening of the emission regulations will result in a further change in the energy production grid in Europe. The Combined Heat & Power segment is now seeing an increase in ‘flex-mode’ operations which have an effect on operating hours and engine load. We continually work on solutions to achieve improved oil life as well as engine efficiencies which will lead to potential fuel savings.
Q. What do you believe are the key challenges in the power generation sector?
The biggest challenge facing power generation is in responding to the needs of modern environmentally sustainable energy production. In the first instance, tighter emission regulations for new installations as well as existing installations need to be adjusted by 2025, which in combination with local government subsidies will result in challenges for power generation applications.
Another challenge is how the industry works to meet the increased need for electrical energy consumption, and the increase in LNG used in flex mode (known as peak shaving in the UK) across Europe. These changes are coupled with the reduction in coal use driven by environmental factors, and the reduction in nuclear use driven by both safety and longer-term environmental concerns. Renewable energy sources such as solar and wind energy are certainly increasing, but these sources also pose challenges over their reliability to be available on demand.
However, technology is in place to help meet these challenges, with new energy storage systems helping to lower emissions, leading to lower operational costs and increased engine availability, and new gas engine technology is providing a cost-effective solution to contribute to greater grid stability.
Texaco HDAX products with OEM approvals are supported by our in-house expertise, robust in-field testing and backed-up by detailed value-driven oil analysis Texaco Lubewatch, to ensure they can meet the ever-changing needs of the power generation sector.