Turbochargers spin at very high speeds and at high temperatures, this contributes to wear and tear on the bearings which over time can fail.
The bearing spin in a thin coating of oil.
The oil is kept in place with seals lubricating the turbine and compressor. Positive air pressure keeps the oil in the housing preventing the oil from escaping into the end housings. Always check the seals for any external residue.
If you’re concerned replace the seals. – DON”T wait for the seals to fail.
If the inlet is restricted in any way a vacuum will form and draw the oil past the seals reducing or even preventing lubrication of the turbine and compressor.
During engine idling for prolonged periods the turbo will rotate at slower speeds due to the lack of lubrication, which results in low air pressure.
The vacuum that results will cause the oil to leak into the turbine housing.
This creates oil starvation to the bearings. The bearings operating at such high temperatures with no lubrication will soon fail. -DON”T let the generator idle for long periods.
Oil contamination reducing the effectiveness of the oil can also cause similar results.
Turbochargers as a rule tend to be a very reliable component. It is possible that a turbocharger can fail due to occasional failings within manufacturing at such tight tolerances.
Oil starvation and oil contamination can also contribute to a turbocharger failing.
In conclusion, Turbo are usually reliable. Do get them checked regularly during your generator servicing and they’ll work for many decades without an issue.
If you have a problem it will be expensive to fix.
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