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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.
A very direct and effective way of increasing power transmission efficiency is a changeover from mineral-oil-based lubricants to synthetic lubricants.
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.
Bob McCulley of Comprehensive Heat Treat Specialists describes how even the most energy intensive industrial processes can be made "green."
"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
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.
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
Minimizing gear losses caused by churning, windage and mesh friction is important if plant operating costs and environmental impact are to be minimized. This paper concentrates on mesh friction losses and associated scuffing risk. It describes the preliminary results from using a validated, 3-D Finite Element Analysis (FEA) and Tooth Contact Analysis (TCA) program to optimize cylindrical gears for low friction losses without compromising transmission error (TE), noise and power density. Some case studies and generic procedures for minimizing losses are presented. Future development and further validation work is discussed.
The effect of various lubricant factors on wormgear efficiency has been evaluated using a variety of gear types and conditions. In particular, the significant efficiency improvements afforded by certain types of synthetic lubricants have been investigated to determine the cause of these improvements. This paper describes broad wormgear testing, both in the laboratory and in service, and describes the extent to which efficiency can be affected by changes in the lubricant; the effects of viscosity, viscosity index improvers and, finally, synthetic lubricants are discussed. The work concludes that lubricant tractional properties can play a significant role in determining gear efficiency characteristics.
Our question this issue deals with high-ratio hypoid gears, and it should be noted here that this is a tricky area of gearing with a dearth of literature on the topic. That being the case, finding “experts” willing to stick their necks out and take on the subject was not a given.
Two-shaft planetary gear drives are power-branching transmissions, which lead the power from input to output shaft on several parallel ways. A part of the power is transferred loss-free as clutch power. That results in high efficiency and high power density. Those advantages can be used optimally only if an even distribution of load on the individual branches of power is ensured. Static over-constraint, manufacturing deviations and the internal dynamics of those transmission gears obstruct the load balance. With the help of complex simulation programs, it is possible today to predict the dynamic behavior of such gears. The results of those investigations consolidate the approximation equations for the calculation of the load factors...
It is widely recognized that the reduction of CO2 requires consistent light-weight design of the entire vehicle. Likewise, the trend towards electric cars requires light-weight design to compensate for the additional weight of battery systems. The need for weight reduction is also present regarding vehicle transmissions. Besides the design of the gearbox housing, rotating masses such as gear wheels and shafts have a significant impact on fuel consumption. The current technology shows little potential of gear weight reduction due to the trade-off between mass optimization and the manufacturing process. Gears are usually forged followed or not by teeth cutting operation.
Over the past few months I've talked with several different gear manufacturers who are in the process of upgrading their gear making equipment with modern CNC machine tools. Each of these manufacturers has come to the realization that in order to stay competitive, he needs to streamline operations and become more efficient...
By increasing the number of gears and the transmission-ratio spread, the engine will run with better fuel efficiency and without loss of driving dynamics. Transmission efficiency itself can be improved by: using fuelefficient transmission oil; optimizing the lubrication systems and pumps; improving shifting strategies and optimizing gearings; and optimizing bearings and seals/gaskets.
This paper will present data from both laboratory and field testing demonstrating that superfinished components exhibit lower friction, operating temperature, wear and/ or higher horsepower, all of which translate directly into increased fuel economy.
A response to last issue's "Ask the Expert" feature on efficiency of hypoid gearing.
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.
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."
"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.
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...
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.
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.
Heat treatment industry reinforces environmental/energy conservation.
Uncertainty casts a shadow over future business opportunities for manufacturers serving the new energy markets.
The complete Industry News section from the July 2014 issue of Gear Technology.
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 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.
In most transmission systems, one of the main power loss sources is the loaded gear mesh. In this article, the influences of gear geometry parameters on gear efficiency, load capacity, and excitation are shown.
News Items About energy efficiency
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