How to mitigate operation costs through VARTECH Industrial System Cleaner

Cleaning with VARTECH Industrial System Cleaner can help business save on their annual revenue gain.

Understanding Varnish Understanding Varnish

Varnish is a wide-ranging term encompassing various types of deposits in oil systems, it's also the leading reason for issues in industrial turbines, hydraulic systems and compressors. Even though procurement managers can work around reducing costs in various ways like lubricant inventory streamlining and repair cost reductions, it is still crucial to understand the limitation that varnish can impose overtime on different equipments and business operations. 


That is why it is very important to understand what factors hinder the process, why it forms and which equipments are likely to be impacted during operations especially when it comes to larger turbines of power generation, oil & gas and manufacturing industry customers. 


Modern turbine systems are experiencing more and more varnish problems due to higher operating speeds and temperatures to meet the demand for power generation. Highly refined base stocks that have a lower solvency for varnish precursors further worsen the situation as it results in deposits build-up on critical components. 


Chevron San Joaquin Valley Business Unit (SJV) operates more than 16,000 wells, producing 159,000 barrels of crude and 53 million cubic feet of natural gas daily. Located in McKittrick, California, the oilfield uses a Solar Taurus 60 gas turbine producing steam and electricity. 


During summer, the gas turbine runs hot as it operates at full power producing 3.3MW of electricity out its 5.5MW capacity. High temperature was found to be the problem, more particularly varnish interference with the efficiency of the oil coolers. Not only that, but having 2MW less to sell to their local power utility as part of their business model was costing SJV over $350,000 annually in lost electricity sales. 


This is where VARTECH Industrial System Cleaner (ISC) comes in. The industrial system cleaner was added to the in-service oil, cleaning the varnish from the oil coolers causing the operating temperatures to quickly drop and turbine returned to full design capacity which helped them recapture all the lost revenue. 


It’s a unique cleaning product that can be directly added to the oil in use during operation in order to clean the system of varnish and sludge. The industrial system cleaner utilizes proprietary technology to be efficient and can remain in the system for up to four weeks without causing any operational constraints. 


VARTECH ISC cuts down the cleaning process significantly by decreasing complicated extra steps like external filtration, reoccurring rinse cycles and compatibility testing with fresh oil. And unlike other industry solutions it does not lower the oil flash point, damage seals or plug filters and it can be used up to 20% treat rate without compromising the performance of the new oil. 


The solution is added near the end of the in-service oil’s life and cleans existing varnish while equipment remains online and productive, however as a general rule, we do not recommend leaving any varnish cleaner in a system indefinitely.  


Caltex Lubricants’ Reliability-based Lubrication (RBL) Program offers a suite of tailored services like operational assessments, best practices and oil analysis. Read more about VARTECH ISC varnish remover or contact your Caltex Lubricants representative to learn more. 

Paul Sly
Paul Sly is a Technical Advisor for Chevron with a BS in Mechanical Engineering and CLS and OMA-1 certifications in the lubricants field. His career includes 13 years at Caterpillar Engine Division and 18 years at Chevron, including managing the ISOCLEAN contamination control program for the past decade and as Chevron’s top field specialist in the power generation industry for both turbine and reciprocating engine applications. This field experience has built his reputation as a subject matter expert in turbine oil, including varnish issues, hydraulics, gas engines, compressors and gear boxes supporting Chevron and customer operations around the globe.

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