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Thread: Oil In A Turbocor?

  1. #1
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    Confused Oil In A Turbocor?

    Has anyone ever seen anything like this?

    Replaced a TT400 on a Smardt, after a month of troubleshooting & going back & forth with tech support for a month... Both Smardt & Danfoss tech supp... Finally diagnosed as demagnetized shaft...

    I pulled the suction bell / igv assembly, and approx. 1/2 cup of an "oil like substance" poured out?!?!? I haven't tipped it to see if there is more...

    I've been in the field for a dozen years & full time accounts on turbocors for 4 years, but this is a first!

    Anyone seen this? Thoughts?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails oil in turbocor - #1.jpg   oil in turbocor - #3.jpg  

  2. #2
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    Unless you’re the only one that ever touched it and know otherwise, I would wonder if someone else has recovered the charge into a used cylinder that had some oil in it and unintentionally contaminated the system.

  3. #3
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    I know that a little bit of oil is used to install York’s oil less chiller orings. But it is a very small amount. I would agree with the contaminated tank theory.
    "Right" is not the same as "Wise".

    Don't step on my favorite part of the Constitution just to point out your favorite part.

  4. #4
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    No, I’m far down the line of techs that have worked on it over the years... It’s 10 yrs old...

    been having numerous issues with this chiller in the last 2 years. It has 4 compressors...

    I’ve broken open a couple turbocors, and never saw oil before...

    I’m now wondering if the issues are linked to this oil?

  5. #5
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    Click image for larger version. 

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    i found the same thing when i was replacing the IGV's on a compressor. Handful of companies worked on this smardt before us. Owner had just purchased building, we had no history on chiller. i was told that they add a little oil to lube expansion valves, but not sure how much exactly.
    RTFM!!!

  6. #6
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    I've seen oil in DTC's before, more than once too!! It's never a "purposely done" factory thing, but it is partly related to purchasing cheap refrigerant from cheap suppliers. I have seen the dirtiest and oldest cylinders rock up to a job and been told it's new!! It is also from careless technicians not using clean or dedicated "oil free" cylinders for recovery during repairs. I have replaced several DTC's, but haven't been able to link oil in the compressor to contributing towards a failure. I say this as I have also done several retrofits, and the system oil will always collect in the bell end of the compressor, hence why there is a 1/4 schrader valve for draining purposes. BUT, oil in the DTC could assist with those touch down bearings on a TT400 - just saying

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by geckoejon View Post
    Has anyone ever seen anything like this?

    Replaced a TT400 on a Smardt, after a month of troubleshooting & going back & forth with tech support for a month... Both Smardt & Danfoss tech supp... Finally diagnosed as demagnetized shaft...

    I pulled the suction bell / igv assembly, and approx. 1/2 cup of an "oil like substance" poured out?!?!? I haven't tipped it to see if there is more...

    I've been in the field for a dozen years & full time accounts on turbocors for 4 years, but this is a first!

    Anyone seen this? Thoughts?
    In their first couple of chillers, Smardt recommended to put a little bit of oil in the refrigerant to help the EXV move. It is normal but you should remove the oil as much as possible, some compressors have a shrader valve at the bottom of the IGV housing so you should be able to remove it there or you'll need to distill the refrigerant/oil mixture if you want to remove it. Or it could be coming from dirty cylinders.

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  9. #8
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    I have seen a small amount in almost every turbocor I have removed, even a new one that was being changed under warranty 6 months in. I have heard about the small amount being added also, but if you have seen the touchdown bearings - they are just a ball bearing, I would argue it does still need a little floating around because I have seen 2-3 touchdowns fail and get replaced.

    But that definitely looks like too much...

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  11. #9
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    Looks like you need a crank case heater. I've seen that on a WMC when doing igv motor. I believe that there's a plug underneath the insulation on the cavity for oil drain too. I had DTC tell me that I had a demagnetized shaft recently. I would up swapping the inverters and the problem followed the inverter. I was getting a low back emf reading.

  12. #10
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    A small amount of oil is used by the manufactures in the turbocor machines. Minor lubrication is required on some internal components.

  13. #11
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    Dirty tanks we went to charge and start up a Smardt for a customer and they had a well known recovery company recover the charge so they could disassemble the chiller and install it but they used dirty tanks. They have to purchase a whole new charge.

    We have hoses and tanks we use just for those machines.

    Plus we get our tanks cleaned after every job.

    Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk

  14. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChillerTech3384 View Post
    A small amount of oil is used by the manufactures in the turbocor machines. Minor lubrication is required on some internal components.
    Really? hmm... I've changed out a handful of turbocors from either bearings or demagnetized shaft issues. I only found oil in several of them.

    I did have Smardt admit that they added a little oil to the older model of chillers, but no longer do. Maybe they were referring to just the turbocors?

  15. #13
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    Bearing failures typically due to check valve failures causing lag compressors to rotate when off. TT300 does not have ball bearings so did not spin with gas flow, only larger compressors.
    Demag usually due to running in choke for extended times, no or improperly controlled 3-way tower bypass valves.

    One mfg had contaminated their refrigerant tank with centrifugal oil so for years had oil in theirs. Usually you could drain nearly a cup of oil from the vane housing after extended operation. Once they had their tank cleaned out the exv on another oil less model had to be redesigned. Exv's and vanes perform better with some oil in the circuit. There may also be some lubricants used in unit assembly that show up.
    Turbocor changed vane materials at least 3 times due to vane failures mostly due to surge. Their original discharge check would not hold up to surge conditions, major vendor went thru ~ 4 discharge check versions.
    Retrofitted chillers are bad for oil recovery.

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