Keeping wind energy moving

At the remote northern tip of Prince Edward Island, Canada, 260-foot wind turbines tower over of the picturesque landscape and red sandstone cliffs. Beyond the horse stables and potato farms is WEICan, the Wind Energy Institute of Canada. There, scientists and researchers are working alongside experts from government, academia and industry – including many from ExxonMobil – to shape the future of wind energy technology.

We are collaborating with WEICan to develop the next generation of wind lubricants.

“A lot of people don’t realize how important lubricants are to keeping wind turbines running,” said Marianne Rodgers, the scientific director at WEICan. “All of the moving parts, from the outside blades to the interior equipment, rely on an oil or grease to operate.”

Lubricants minimize friction between parts, meaning less energy is required to keep those parts moving. Less friction also helps equipment last longer because there’s less wear and tear – which is good news considering that when turbines that are shut down for maintenance, they can’t produce energy.

Advancing next-generation lubricants – alongside our work with WEICan – helps support the growing wind industry. By developing lubricants that increase the time between maintenance intervals and extend the equipment life, there is the potential for less waste and more power generation.

Today, our lubricants are used in more than 40,000 wind turbines worldwide and are specially formulated to perform under extreme conditions.

“We have decades of experience in the lubricants space,” said Gary Dudley, a technology manager at ExxonMobil. “Meanwhile, WEICan owns and operates their turbines, giving them a deep understanding of the day-to-day operations. And they’re a highly respected research organization within the industry. By collaborating with them, we’re combining our respective areas of expertise so that together we can help advance the wind energy industry.”

Check out the video* below to learn more about the collaboration.

*Nothing in this material or video is intended to propose, describe, or create, nor shall it be deemed to propose, describe, or create, in law or in equity, any participation by ExxonMobil in a partnership, agency, fiduciary relationship, or joint liability with the Wind Energy Institute of Canada (WEICan). The term partnership in the video is merely for convenience and simplicity to connote the research collaboration between ExxonMobil and WEICan.

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