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The turbines are still spinning. They’re spinning on large wind farms in the Great Plains, offshore in the Atlantic and even underwater where strong tidal currents offer new energy solutions. These turbines spin regularly while politicians and policy makers— tied up in discussions on tax incentives, economic recovery and a lot of finger pointing—sit idle. Much like the auto and aerospace industries of years past, renewable energy is coping with its own set of growing pains. Analysts still feel confident that clean energy will play a significant role in the future of manufacturing—it’s just not going to play the role envisioned four to five years ago.
We talked energy efficiency with some major players in the lubricants industry— but with a focus on their products’ impact regarding energy efficiency of gears and gearboxes in wind turbines.
The efficiency of a gearbox is the output energy divided by the input energy. It depends on a variety of factors. If the complete gearbox assembly in its operating environment is observed, then the following efficiency influencing factors have to be considered
"An industrial business with a very important growth potential for the next decade." That's the wind energy as described by Ivan Brems of gear manufacturer Hansen Transmissions International.
Uncertainty casts a shadow over future business opportunities for manufacturers serving the new energy markets.
A very direct and effective way of increasing power transmission efficiency is a changeover from mineral-oil-based lubricants to synthetic lubricants.
The United States’ long-held dream of energy independence—as in cheap, clean, free of overseas extortion and renewable energy—could very well be realized in part by the country-wide development of wind turbines...
an advancing technology and higher energy costs appear to be leading heat-treating companies in the gear industry toward cleaner, more energy-efficient processes. These processes may offer some relief to heat treaters through cooler factories and some relief to their companies through reduced energy usage.
Having outlasted the worldwide Great Recession, the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) forecasts a constant growth in wind energy, i.e.: "increase in worldwide capacity to 460,000 MW by 2015."
Gearbox performance, reliability, total cost of ownership (energy cost), overall impact on the environment, and anticipation of additional future regulations are top-of-mind issues in the industry. Optimization of the bearing set can significantly improve gearbox performance.
Big gears and wind turbines go together like bees and honey, peas and carrots, bread and butter and—well, you get the idea. Wind isn’t just big right now, it’s huge. The wind industry means tremendous things for the energy dependent world we live in and especially big things for gear manufacturers and other beleaguered American industries.
Heat treatment industry reinforces environmental/energy conservation.
Bob McCulley of Comprehensive Heat Treat Specialists describes how even the most energy intensive industrial processes can be made "green."
It’s not too often a trade show so far surpasses organizers’ expectations for size that it must be relocated. This was just the dilemma the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) faced with the Windpower 2009 Conference and Exhibition, which was originally scheduled to take place in Minneapolis, but will now be held at McCormick Place, Chicago.
One of the hot items on the public agenda these days is "The Environment." Suddenly everyone wants to save the whales and the rain forest. Politicians, rock stars, and big business have all discovered that you can't get anything but good press for saying that you're in favor of trees and marine mammals.
Over the past few months we've talked with a lot of gear manufacturers. Many of them tell us business is strong, while others are struggling with reduced demand. The difference between them isn't so much in the quality of their manufacturing operations, but rather trends in the end markets they serve.
The complete Industry News section from the July 2014 issue of Gear Technology.
Gear flank breakage can be observed on edge zone-hardened gears. It occurs, for example, on bevel gears for water turbines, on spur gears for wind energy converters and on single- and double-helical gears for other industrial applications.
As an indicator of what’s up-and-coming in the manufacturing technology world, Hannover Messe 2009 reflects the prominence of alternative energy and efficiency.
The Fabyan Windmill in Geneva, IL
Long before oil, climate change and energy demand were making headlines in Washington, Minnesota State Auditor Rebecca Otto and her husband installed a wind energy system on their property in Minnesota.
East of San Francisco Bay, near the town of Rio Vista, 81 white towers stand 255 feet tall on rolling hills of dry grass harvesting a year-round crop: wind.
Iowa Governor Chet Culver weighs in on the importance of the wind turbine industry for manufacturing growth.
This article shows the newest developments to reduce overall cycle time in grinding wind power gears, including the use of both profile grinding and threaded wheel grinding.
When you to to IMTS, you expect to see hoopla. The mass of machines and bodies gathered in one place should create an unmistakable level of energy and enthusiasm. IMTS 2000 seemed uncharacteristically quiet...
The wind turbine industry has been plagued with gearbox failures, which cause repair costs, legal expenses, lost energy production and environmental pollution.
A large number of technologies aimed primarily at higher productivity were presented by exhibitors at the AMB, International Exhibition for Metal Working at the Stuttgart Trade Fair Centre in September. Following the successful 2010 show, AMB 2012 boasted further developments in energy and resource efficiency, higher productivity, life cycle performance, quality assurance and user-friendliness.
In today’s globalized manufacturing, all industrial products having dimensional constraints must undergo conformity specifications assessments on a regular basis. Consequently, (standardization) associated with GD&T (geometrical dimensioning and tolerancing) should be un-ambiguous and based on common, accepted rules. Of course gears - and their mechanical assemblies - are special items, widely present in industrial applications where energy conversion and power transmission are involved.
Contact fatigue and bending fatigue are two main failure modes of steel gears, while surface pitting and spalling are two common contact fatigue failures -- caused by alternating subsurface shear stresses from the contact load between two gear mates. And when a gear is in service under cyclic load, concentrated bending stresses exist at the root fillet -- the main driver of bending fatigue failures. Induction hardening is becoming an increasingly popular response to these problems, due to its process consistency, reduced energy consumption, clean environment and improved product quality -- but not without issues of its own (irregular residual stresses and bending fatigue). Thus a new approach is proposed here that flexibly controls the magnitude of residual stress in the regions of root fillet and tooth flank by pre-heating prior to induction hardening. Using an external spur gear made of AISI 4340 as an example, this new concept/process is demonstrated using finite element modeling and DANTE commercial software.
This method of testing large gearboxes or, indeed, any power transmission element, had numerous advantages and offers the possibility of large savings in time, energy, and plant, if the overall situation is conducive to its use. This usually requires that several such units need to be tested, and that they can be conveniently connected to each to each other in such a way as to form a closed-loop drive train. No power sink is required, and the drive input system has only to make up power losses. The level of circulating power is controlled by the torque, which is applied statically during rotation, and the drive speed. Principles, advantage, and limitations are described, together with recent experiences in the only known large-scale usage of this technique in Australia.
"Going green" and energy efficiency are goals that all industries -- especially in Europe and the United States -- are working on, in such sectors as electric motors, lubrication, gears and on and on. Drumroll here please for magnetic gearing
Romax Technology, the gearbox, bearing and driveline engineering specialist, has launched a new design software package that will increase speed, quality, creativity and innovation when designing gearboxes and drivelines. Called Concept, the new product delivers on the Romax vision of streamlining the end-to-end, planning-to-manufacture process with open, easy to use software solutions. It has been developed in close collaboration with engineers in the largest ground vehicle, wind energy and industrial equipment companies around the globe.
With growing markets in aerospace and energy technologies, measuring hob cutters used in gear cutting is becoming an essential requirement for workpieces and machine tools. Zoller, a provider of solutions for tool pre-setters, measuring and inspection machines and tool management software, has developed a new partnership with Ingersoll/Germany for shop floor checking of hob cutters by a combined hardware and software approach.
Although typically considered a late bloomer in the call to wind energy arms, the United States is now the number one wind power producer in the world with over 25,000 MW installed by the end of 2008, according to the Global Wind Energy Council in January 2009.
The global wind energy market has seen average growth rates of 28 percent over the last 10 years, according to the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC), creating major challenges for the component supply industry. GWEC also forecasts an average growth rate of 22 percent for the next five years, which if realized, will continue to put pressure on suppliers of turbine components.
Worm gear speed reducers give the design engineer considerable options, but these gear systems present a challenge to the lubrication engineer. Heat energy generated by the high rate of sliding and friction in the contact zone causes worm gears to be relatively inefficient compared to other gear types. Because worm gears operate under a boundary or near-boundary lubrication regime, a satisfactory lubricant should contain a friction modifier to alleviate these conditions.
The large gears found in mining, steel, construction, off-road, marine and energy applications—massive and robust in nature—need to tackle the greatest production demands. This, in turn, means that a special emphasis must be put on the heat treating methods used to increase the wear resistance and strength properties of gears this size.
Gear metrology is a revolving door of software packages and system upgrades. It has to be in order to keep up with the productivity and development processes of the machines on the manufacturing floor. Temperature compensation, faster inspection times and improved software packages are just a few of the advancements currently in play as companies prepare for new opportunities in areas like alternative energy, automotive and aerospace/defense.
Mechanical efficiency is an important index of gearing, especially for epicyclic gearing. Because of its compact size, light weight, the capability of a high speed ratio, and the ability to provide differential action, epicyclic gearing is very versatile, and its use is increasing. However, attention should be paid to efficiency not only to save energy, but sometimes also to make the transmission run smoothly or to avoid a self-locking condition.
As we approach the problem of hard gear processing, it is well to take a look at the reason for discussing it at this time. In our present economic atmosphere throughout the world, more and more emphasis is being placed upon efficiency which is dictated by higher energy costs.
Capitalizing on a burgeoning new technology where gears are of great import, the gear community gathered en masse at the American Wind Energy Association’s Windpower Expo 2010.
The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) announced at Gear Expo '95 that a national service for the calibration of involute artifacts is now available at the Department of Energy's Y-12 Plant in Oak Ridge, TN.
News Items About energy
1 EMAG Focuses on Energy Efficiency (March 28, 2013)
Saving energy in the metal processing industry isn't just a question of protecting the environment. For years, energy consumption ha... Read News
2 Suzlon Energy Plans Worldwide Expansions (April 15, 2006)
Wind energy company Suzlon Energy plans to expand capacity by 4,200 MW and is scheduled to complete the project by June 2007. Suzlon w... Read News
3 Bodine Electric’s Low-Voltage Products Counter High Energy Costs (December 19, 2007)
With rising energy costs and environmental concerns, Bodine Electric recently announced the release of a low-voltage product line. Bodine... Read News
4 Broadwind Energy Announces Expanded Organizational Structure (February 4, 2009)
Broadwind Energy recently announced an expanded organizational structure and leadership team to support its wind and alternative energy b... Read News
5 Survey Puts China at the Forefront of Wind Energy Market (November 24, 2008)
An annual wind survey conducted jointly by the Global Wind Energy Council and Greenpeace International expects China to surpass Germany... Read News
6 REpower Systems and Essar Group To Partner in Indian Wind Energy Market (April 22, 2006)
RREpower Systems has entered into a licensed agreement with India's Essar Group to facilitate entry into that country's growin... Read News
7 GE Energy Announces $1.3 Billion in Wind Turbine Projects (December 17, 2003)
GE Energy announced that it has secured contracts and order projections for wind turbine projects in 2004?2005 that are valued at more th... Read News
8 Broadwind Energy Plans Expansion of Gearbox Capabilities (March 17, 2010)
Broadwind Energy, Inc. recently announced the expansion of its Precision Repair and Engineering services with enhanced megawatt (MW) gear... Read News
9 GE Energy Partners with Chinese Co. To Develop Wind Turbine Gearboxes (April 22, 2006)
GE Energy and Nanjing High Speed & Accurate Gear Company (NGC) have agreed to jointly develop gearboxes for GE's 1.5-megawatt wind tu... Read News
10 Broadwind Energy Appoints Brad Foote President (April 1, 2010)
Daniel E. Schueller was appointed president of Brad Foote Gear Works, Inc., the gearing systems business of Broadwind Energy, Inc. Schu... Read News
11 Governors Ask Administration for More Wind Energy Deployment (September 23, 2011)
A coalition of 24 governors from both major parties and each region of the country has asked the administration to take a series of steps... Read News
12 SME Receives U.S. Department of Energy Grant (November 5, 2012)
The Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) has been granted $292,000 from the U.S. Department of Energy to partner SME Student Chapters... Read News
13 Infigen Energy Chooses Romax for Remote Monitoring Services (September 13, 2013)
Infigen Energy, owner and operator of 24 wind farms across the USA and Australia has chosen Romax as its independent provider to support ... Read News
14 Great Lakes Industry Awarded Michigan Clean Energy Grant (June 29, 2010)
A $2.5 million Clean Energy Advanced Manufacturing (CEAM) award was granted to Great Lakes Industry Gear LLC, a subsidiary of Jackson, MI... Read News
15 Romax Opens Dedicated Wind Energy Technical Centre (June 2, 2010)
Romax Technology will open a new Technical Centre in Colorado in June, in response to the growing demand for their technical consultancy ... Read News
16 Holroyd Precision Examines Energy Recovery (July 2, 2014)
The Rochdale-based screw and compressor rotor prototyping and manufacturing business has recently begun supplying the ultra-precise carbo... Read News
17 Premium Energy Launches Tech Center (April 30, 2010)
Premium Energy Transmission Ltd., located in Pune, India, recently launched a new technology center that will allow the company to provid... Read News
18 SEW-Eurodrive Release Energy Efficient Gear Reducers (March 24, 2010)
SEW-Eurodrive recently announced the release of the new RESF37 stainless steel helical gear reducer and KESA37 stainless steel helical be... Read News