With a one-two punch from the show floor of the Wind Energy Update O&M Conference in Dallas, Gearbox Express, unveiled its upgraded version of its proprietary gearbox, Revolution 2.0, while being nominated for an award citing its technological advancements. Wind O&M is the only conference in the world that specifically acknowledges and awards innovation in the O&M sector. This recognition further confirms what GBX already believes: That it has created a technical product unlike anything else in the industry.
“We were thrilled by the nomination and are ecstatic about being recognized as one the industry’s top innovative advancement,” said Bruce Neumiller, CEO of Gearbox Express. “The wind industry has wrestled with gearbox failures since its inception. Innovations are built into the Revolution series to provide a solution to the problem. And because most gearboxes are less than 10-years old, the problems of them failing are just getting started. We created our company to meet these challenges head-on and we are succeeding.”
Since the company’s opening in 2012, GBX recognized the futility in providing like-for-like gearbox replacements: Why replace or repair a failed unit with something that’s no different? To answer the question, Gearbox Express unveiled its Revolution gearbox in 2013 to address the common failure characteristics seen in most wind turbine gearboxes. After successfully installing more than 200 Revolution gearboxes across the United States, GBX saw the opportunity.
“For more than three years, GBX has been researching why some gearbox planetary configurations were achieving less than half of their designed lifespan,” continued Neumiller. “Those development efforts are now introducing the next big step in innovation– Revolution 2.0.”
The top features of the Revolution 2.0 gearbox include:
- A redesigned planetary gear and bearing interface, in which the bearing outer races are machined into the gear
- Integral tapered rollers are used in lieu of cylindrical rollers. Tapers permit preloading, which increases system stiffness and improves load share. Furthermore, they
- Reduce internal bearing stress and improve life 170%
- Reduce rim deflection by 460%, reducing bending stress and propensity to crack planet gears.
- Steel that’s cleaner than ISO 6336-5 ME, one grade higher than wind gearbox standard MQ. This improves both contact and bending gear rating, allowing planet gears to run with a larger safety factor and significantly reduce t risk of failing from material inclusions.
- In-house super finishing reduces as-ground surface finishes by 50%, ensuring bearing life while improving gear rating.
- Outfitted with a metallic wear debris monitor from Poseidon Systems lets GBX remotely monitor and proactively address issues.
- Backed by its industry-leading five-year warranty, which includes crane and labor expenses.
“GBX has taken the time to understand why a gearbox fails, and if it proves to be not what GBX claimed it to be, we undertake the financial risk,” said Neumiller. “The Revolution 2.0 is the future of wind energy gearboxes and they are available today – cost effectively and able to fit most turbine platforms. Gearbox Express has never been afraid to lead the charge for innovation and improvement and the Revolution 2.0 is proof.”
The company began operations in 2012 in Mukwonago, WI. In 2016, it opened a new, 80,000 square-foot facility on a 10-acre site. Its facility features two, 3.1 MW test stands; dedicated bays for receiving and disassembly, assembly, and testing and shipping; dedicated main-shaft assembly; super-finishing capability; expansive parts inventory and more. Gearbox Express operates GBX School out of its headquarters, providing practical training to technicians on wind turbine drivetrains.
For more information: gearboxexpress.com.