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"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.
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."
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.
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...
Onshore and offshore wind turbines boast some of the most critical assets in order to run effectively.
The Fabyan Windmill in Geneva, IL
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Amidst the energy industry's uncertain future, gearbox manufacturers are focusing on supplying the aftermarket.
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.
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.
Let’s talk about large gears. Not the size or scope or inspection process, but the forecast and market potential in areas that utilize these massive components. We’ll examine key industry segments like energy and mining and tap IHS Economics for a forecast for 2016 and 2017 (spoiler alert: it’s not great). Additionally, we’ll discuss some of the critical factors influencing global big gear manufacturers Ferry-Capitain and Hofmann Engineering.
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.
Uncertainty casts a shadow over future business opportunities for manufacturers serving the new energy markets.
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.
A very direct and effective way of increasing power transmission efficiency is a changeover from mineral-oil-based lubricants to synthetic lubricants.
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
According to the U.K.-based WITT Energy website (witt-energy.com), “The WITT is the only device in the world that can capture energy from all movement and turn it into electricity. No other energy system can exploit the full spectrum of movement, enabling it to harvest power from water (sea, river or tidal), wind and human or animal motion.”
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.
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.
Heat treatment industry reinforces environmental/energy conservation.
When a customer needed gears delivered in three weeks, here’s how Brevini Wind got it done.
Bob McCulley of Comprehensive Heat Treat Specialists describes how even the most energy intensive industrial processes can be made "green."
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).
Natural resources—minerals, coal, oil, agricultural products, etc.—are the blessings that Mother Earth confers upon the nations of the world. But it takes unnaturally large gears to extract them.
A computational fluid dynamics (CFD) method is adapted, validated and applied to spinning gear systems with emphasis on predicting windage losses. Several spur gears and a disc are studied. The CFD simulations return good agreement with measured windage power loss.
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.
Recent breakthroughs in profile grinding software are helping Anderson Precision Gears and others meet wind power’s insatiable appetite for faster production of large, high-quality gears.
When Belgium-based Hansen Transmissions was under the ownership of Invensys plc in the late 1990s, the parent company was dropping not-so-subtle hints that the industrial gearbox manufacturer was not part of its long-term plans. Yet Hansen’s CEO Ivan Brems never dreamed that, less than a decade later, he would be working for an Indian company.
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.
Lamentations continue—legitimately so—over the second-citizen status of manufacturing in the United States. The need undoubtedly continues for renewed support by government and educators for making things here once again...
It seems that nothing can hold back the power of the wind—unless, of course, it's the availability of rugged, reliable, specially designed gearboxes. How Gleason is Keeping up with Demand.
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.
The wind turbine industry has been plagued with gearbox failures, which cause repair costs, legal expenses, lost energy production and environmental pollution.
A series of short reports on global manufacturing growth and the gear industry's role.
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.
This article reviews mathematical models for individual components associated with power losses, such as windage, churning, sliding and rolling friction losses.
Industry battles it out for World's Largest Gear title.
News Items About wind energy
1 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
2 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
3 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
4 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
5 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
6 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
7 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