Romax Technology’s desire to ‘push the boundaries’ leads to the development of a twin offset gear planet carrier for the wind industry.
“The Romax philosophy,” says Romax Technology Founder Dr Poon, “is to look at existing designs and see how we can improve them. As a company, we are constantly looking at conventional practice and technology and finding ways to develop and improve it. “
As a result of this drive to continuously improve technology and the processes around technological development in drivetrain design across all industries, Romax has been granted another UK patent for the invention of a twin offset gear planet carrier, for the wind industry. The achievement of a fourth UK patent in just a few months, in addition to eleven achieved in China, is a key indicator of the company’s successful drive to enhanced product innovation and development.
The reliability of wind turbines is a major issue for the industry with turbine failures resulting in extreme repair costs, replacement parts and in lost power production due to downtime. All of this has a negative impact on the total cost of energy and CO2 mitigation for a wind farm.
Due to the drive for smaller, lighter gearboxes, and higher power turbines, the pressures on gearbox design are increasing dramatically. If the components in a gearbox flex in an uncontrolled way, then they can be damaged. Industrial gearboxes traditionally solved this problem by being large and heavy, but this is not an option in wind turbines.
At Romax, the philosophy has always been to consider the effect of the full system flexibility as early as possible in the design process. This means the movements of components are understood and controlled so all the critical components can be kept safe.
The new patent (GB2491248B) relates to mounting planet gears on the planet carrier. This is one of the most critical parts in the gearbox, but one that also suffers from the most complex flexibility problems. The new design mounts planet gears on either side of a central carrier but spaces them alternatively around the circumference. This allows the loads from each planet to be carried independently (like the independent suspension in a car) which gives the designer greater control and allows load sharing to be improved, while enabling better compensation for manufacturing tolerances.
Romax is moving towards driving innovation in drivetrain design and development in areas that haven’t been considered yet, bringing over two decades of engineering experience and using this to enhance its technology R&D with a view to becoming IP-rich with protected interests.
Filed Under: News, Turbines