Thordon's Oil to Water Conversion
of a Main Guide Bearing Video



With an oil lubricated hydro-turbine system, there is the potential of oil leaking from the bearing and travelling down the shaft past the packing gland and contaminating the turbine’s discharge or tailwater. Not only does converting a turbine from oil to water help protect the environment, it also brings operational and maintenance advantages over the original oil system. 


Turning a traditional hydro-turbine with an oil lubricated main guide bearing into one where the lower bearing is now lubricated with the same water the turbine runs on, eliminates the risk of pollution from oil used to lubricate the bearing.  Providing water as an alternative to oil lubrication is a long standing area of expertise for Thordon with their non-metallic bearings in operation in the hydro industry for over 30 years.


"Hydro turbines are perhaps the longest serving class of mechanical devices on the planet and it is not uncommon to find them still in operation after more than a century. The film aims to raise awareness among energy providers that such a conversion project is not only feasible but also offers long-term economic benefits."

- Scott Groves, Technical Advisor for the film


Check out Thordon Bearings’ latest educational video titled Oil to Water: A Turbine Gets Greener.  The short 13min film highlights the process of converting a hydro-turbine main shaft guide bearing from an oil lubricated system to water.  This film provides insight into the simplicity of a water lubricated system and its dependability as a green alternative.  If you want a CD of the video, please click here


Thordon Bearings is a pioneer in producing high performance, long lasting bearing system designs that require no oil or grease.  Thordon Bearings has more than 30 years experience supplying main guide, pump, wicket gate, operating mechanism bearings and radial shaft seals in the hydro market.  As the proven choice for performance and value in rehabilitation and new turbine projects, Thordon products offer long wear life, low friction, high abrasion resistance, and grease/oil free operation.  With application engineering support customers receive bearing solutions that meet, or exceed, specifications, Thordon provides a proven alternative to grease and oil lubricated bearings.