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On a highway, a compact pick-up truck struggles to tow a 30-foot boat up a steep grade. Inside the pick-up, the owner curses himself. He saved money leasing a smaller truck but sees now that he really needed a bigger, pricier vehicle, one suitable for this job.
The wind turbine industry has been plagued with gearbox failures, which cause repair costs, legal expenses, lost energy production and environmental pollution.
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.
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.
There's a reason they call it catastrophic gear failure: For example, if the line goes down at a large aluminum rolling mill because a gear set goes bad, the cost can run up to a whopping $200,000 a week. Even in smaller operations, the numbers alone (not to mention all the other problems) can be a plant manager's worst nightmare.
Question: In the January/February issue of your magazine, we came across the term "electronic gearbox." We have seen this term used elsewhere as well. We understand that this EGB eliminates the change gear in the transmission line, but not how exactly this is done. Could you explain in more detail?
In the August 2008 issue of Gear Technology, we ran a story (“Gearbox Speed Reducer Helps Fan Technology for ‘Greener” Jet Fuel Efficiency’) on the then ongoing, extremely challenging and protracted development of Pratt & Whitney’s geared turbofan (GTF) jet engine.
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.
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."
Although a comprehensive on-site gearbox inspection is desirable in many situations, there may be constraints that limit the extent of the inspection such as cost, time, accessibility and qualified personnel. This article describes the equipment and techniques necessary to perform an on-site gearbox inspection.
Question: We are contemplating purchasing a hobbing machine with dry hobbing capabilities. What do we need to know about the special system requirements for this technology?
Question: We just received permission to purchase our first CNC gear inspection system. With capital approvals so hard to come by, especially for inspection equipment, I want to be sure to purchase a system I can count of for years to come. My past experience with purchasing CNC equipment has shown me that serviceability of the computer and the CNC controller portion of the system can be a problem in just a few years because of the obsolescence factor. What information do I need to look for when selecting a supplier to reduce the risk of obsolescence, as well as to reduce the long-term servicing costs in the computer and controls portion of the system?
When it comes to purchasing gear lubricants, many people on both the sales and purchasing side decide to play the numbers game. The person with the most numbers, or the biggest numbers, or the lowest numbers, must have the best product - right? Wrong; gear oil selection is not a game, and numbers alone cannot determine the right product for an application.
Question: When we purchase our first CNC gear hobbing machine, what questions should we ask about the software? What do we need to know to correctly specify the system requirements?
Question: We are interested in purchasing our first gear hobbing machine. What questions should we ask the manufacturer, and what do we need to know in order to correctly specify the CNC hardware and software system requirements?
Historically, wind turbine gearbox failures have plagued the industry. Yet an effective oil analysis program will increase the reliability and availability of your machinery, while minimizing maintenance costs associated with oil change-outs, labor, repairs and downtime. Practical action steps are presented here to improve reliability.
For heat treatment of tool and alloy steels, the end-user has a wide range of basic types of heat treating equipment to choose from. This article reviews them and details the criteria that must be considered in selecting equipment for a specific application. In making this choice, the most important criterion must be the quality of the tool or part after processing.
This paper presents an approach that provides optimization of both gearbox kinematic arrangement and gear tooth geometry to achieve a high-density gear transmission. It introduces dimensionless gearbox volume functions that can be minimized by the internal gear ratio optimization. Different gearbox arrangements are analyzed to define a minimum of the volume functions. Application of asymmetric gear tooth profiles for power density maximization is also considered.
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.
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.
In the field of large power transmission gear units for heavy machine industry, the following two development trends have been highly influential: use of case hardened gears and a branching of the power flow through two or more ways.
If a gear system is run continuously for long periods of time—or if the starting loads are very low and within the normal operating spectrum—the effect of the start-up conditions may often be insignificant in the determination of the life of the gear system. Conversely, if the starting load is significantly higher than any of the normal operating conditions, and the gear system is started and stopped frequently, the start-up load may, depending on its magnitude and frequency, actually be the overriding, limiting design condition.
Industrial gear standards have been used to support reliability through the specification of requirements for design, manufacturing and verification. The consensus development of an international wind turbine gearbox standard is an example where gear products can be used in reliable mechanical systems today. This has been achieved through progressive changes in gear technology, gear design methods and the continual development and refinement of gearbox standards.
Excess lubricant supply in gearing contributes to power loss due to churning as well as the requirements of the lubrication system itself. Normally, a much larger amount of oil than required is used for cooling because so much of it is thrown away by centrifugal force. To lower the amount of lubricant required and reduce those losses, it is necessary to discover the ideal location of the supplying nozzle.
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.
Forensics isn't just for tough-talking, crime-busting scientists--most commonly found on your television; the tactic also holds the key to successful gearbox design and manufacture.
For a high-speed gearbox, an important part of power losses is due to the mesh. A global estimation is not possible and an analytical approach is necessary with evaluations of three different origins of power losses: friction in mesh contact, gear windage and pumping effect between teeth.
Today’s ever-evolving global economic engine is, in many ways, a wonderful phenomenon; you know—a rising-tide-lifting-all-boats, trickle-down-theory-of-economics dynamic at work.
Most research on micropitting is done on small-sized gears. This article examines whether those results are also applicable to larger gears.
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.
Faithful Gear Technology readers may recall that our July 2009 issue contained an update of the deliberations provided by Bill Bradley. Now, almost two years later, there is an ISO/IEC wind turbine gearbox standard out for draft international standard ballot (ballot closes 2011-05-17).
A series of bench-top experiments was conducted to determine the effects of metallic debris being dragged through meshing gear teeth. A test rig that is typically used to conduct contact fatigue experiments was used for these tests. Several sizes of drill material, shim stock and pieces of gear teeth were introduced and then driven through the meshing region. The level of torque required to drive the “chip” through the gear mesh was measured. From the data gathered, chip size sufficient to jam the mechanism can be determined.
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.
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.
This article describes some of the most important tests for prototypes conducted at Winergy AG during the product development process. It will demonstrate that the measurement results on the test rig for load distribution are in accordance with the turbine measurements.