Oil Samples & System Monitoring

Andy Smith, Branch Manager of Star Manchester, presents a demonstration of different quality oil samples to illustrate the difference between a healthy oil sample and a contaminated one.

There is also an insight into Star's data monitoring system to demonstrate the best practice for monitoring your refrigeration system.


Well, here we are at the Roadshow – what have we got on our wonderful table today? We’ve got a range of oils. Have a look at some oil samples here, different machines – we can see this oil sample here actually came out of a compressor. We had a failure on a condenser and got flooded with water You'll also see some oil samples here are quite cloudy, high insoluble.

If we do some simple tests before we send it away, if we put a magnet here we can see some iron filing, so there is quite a high iron count on this one. If we compare that with quite a nice oil sample, but again it is quite contaminated with iron which we can see via the magnet.

In general, insolubles tend to be muck and dirt that’s in the oil. If we left this standing for a few weeks – as we can see, some of the parts are settling now – but generally this will stay cloudy. This oil sample was tested, and as our insolubles are around about 800, so again, we would recommend change on that.

We can see some other things here as well. This is a discharge valve, this is a composite plastic pet valve, and what we found is that the spring broke, that caused wear on here. We found that by looking at our data monitoring system. What we can see here is the discharge temperature of the compressor was quite erratic when it was operating. The current was fairly low, so we switched the machine off, changed the valves, and we can see a much smoother approach here. With this type of maintenance, we’re not on site, but this data is being analysed back at our offices and generating a task list for the engineers to do. That shows you a little bit about our data monitoring.

Last modified: Monday, 21 October 2013, 3:39 PM