Variable speed hard-geared transmission may improve wind power efficiency 5 to 10%

A variable-ratio transmission that uses gears and chains, but no belts, has been introduced for licensing and production by inventor Gary Lee, CTO of VMT Technologies ( The transmission works by expanding or reducing the diameter of a “moon gear” that drives the chain, thereby changing ratios. It does not rely on friction, which means

Rugged Encoders Ready for Harsh Wind Work

A manufacturer provides a line of reliable encoders to withstand harsh conditions and monitor them in the nacelle, blade, tower and foundation. The ultra-precise magnetic hollow-shaft encoders mount directly onto generator shafts up to 740-mm dia, and a 27-mm profile works well in limited-space environments. HDMag Encoders provide 17-bit absolute single-turn resolution, which delivers accurate

Two-phase cooling for warm things in the nacelle

A novel precision-cooled rack is now available for cooling critical wind turbine components. The precision-cooled rack of Parker’s Precision-Cooled Rack Solution features patented two-phase evaporative cooling that uses non-corrosive, non-conductive fluid, as it vaporizes and cools hot surfaces on contact. Parker’s Precision-Cooled Rack Solution can be used to cool critical wind turbine systems, including power

Trends in cables

The power cable in a nacelle may have a tougher job than the exposed wires on electric lines. In a nacelle, the power cable, from a generator has to tolerate millions of twists, oil, and cold winter temperatures. An improved tolerance to each of these conditions describe cable trends. Wind turbines transmit power from their

Clear gel coat for blades, colored for nacelles

A commercial coatings group says it will globally market and distribute a new urethane gel coat for the wind energy market. Developed and manufactured by Plasticolors Inc., Ashtabula, Ohio, the gel coat comes in clear for wind blades and pigmented for nacelles. PPG will market that material. The clear gel coat, AGC200, is said to

Wind turbine couplings deliver 100,000 nm, retrofit and new

An ISO 9001:2008 certified manufacturing firms says of its wind turbine couplings now cover a broad range of wind turbine applications. Zero-Max Wind Turbine Couplings are available as an upgrade replacement for existing wind turbines and for OEM applications. Successfully tested under conditions simulating a 20-year load spectrum of continuous operation, the turbine couplings easily

Lighter high-pressure hose adds reliability to nacelles

New Compact Spiral hose offers unprecedented 5,000 and 6,000-psi capability in a design that delivers measurably more flexible routing, installation, size, weight and service life advantages compared to conventional SAE spiral hose. New 787TC (5,000 psi) and 797TC (6,000 psi) Compact Spiral hose is available in sizes -8, -10, -12 and -16. Both hose lines

New ventilation ideas clean the air in plants

The blades on wind turbines, and to some extent nacelles, are now made of composites, often fiberglass reinforced plastics (FRP) and in some cases carbon fibers. When these components come out of a mold, they require a little grinding and milling that put dust and debris into a plant’s air. Although workers wear respirators, some

Low speed wind power generator could take weight out of the nacelle

The weight of wind turbine generators is a significant issue because weight translates to costs. The structural weight of a direct-drive generator, for example, can exceed 80% of the total weight on the tower. The structure is needed to overcome the force of magnetic attraction between stationary and moving parts. The attraction force, a result

Vibration Monitoring Tells A Lot About Your Equipment

A small vibration transducer attached to a wind turbine changes the way owners and manufacturers approach  maintenance. These sensors, called accelerometers, output millivolt signals proportional to their acceleration  vibration. They have a sensitivity range that matches the expected operating conditions in the turbine. Each component in a wind turbine vibrates at a different frequency, letting