Gearbox breather needs less attention than conventional unit

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Donaldson Co. says its Trap gearbox breather stops solid particulate down to 3 µm with 97% efficiency as well as prevents moisture from entering the reservoir. The filter’s water-holding capacity is regenerated with every oil return phase for long service life. The breather senses and removes moisture as low as 15% relative humidity.

Water contamination causes big problems in hydraulic systems and gearbox machinery on wind turbines. A manufacturer of filtration equipment has developed the T.R.A.P. (Thermally reactive advanced protection) breather as a way to prevent moisture buildup in such equipment. “The unit works by removing atmospheric moisture when air enters the reservoir or gearbox,” says Director of Engineering Marty Barris with developer Donaldson Co., Minneapolis. “The Trap self generates during reservoir breathing cycles. This lets it last longer, lowers its maintenance, and reduces replacement costs.”


  1. Paul Dvorak says:

    Mr. Cooley:

    Thanks for your detailed comments. I think you’re saying the Trap unit is a partial solution to moisture in the gearbox. Is there are better one.

    Let me know, and thanks.


  2. the application of this novel but low tech product for extreme conditions and extremely expensive equipment such as wind turbines which have extremely high maintenance labor costs as well as down time costs etc. is like the recent car manufacturer problem and saying they would put a cheap bracket on the gas pedal……….problem solved ! The use of delequescent salts means that a good deal of moisture (absolute humidity or dewpoint) still gets into the gearbox and can still condensate with very likely temperature changes. That condesed moisture, now liquid water, then enters the oil and does its damage. The reactivation may or may not occur depending on exact temperature and humidity levels. The absolute humidity of the air that passed through the TRAP unit and is inside the gearbox is indeed exactly the same as the air that may be exhaled, only the relative humidity number would change, delequescent salts are very inefficient dryers and only work on a very narrow thermal band. The theoretical claims made should be taken “with a grain of salt” by people who want to seriously protect gearboxes down to precision levels such as minus 40 degree dewpoint or lower like .00014 grams per cubic meter/ or 0.76 %RH @ 70 F.

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