Wind-turbine gearboxes from GE Drivetrains, Erie, Pa., span four designs that handle 1.4 to 2.9 MW. On the low end, for instance, the CP 1.8 is a one stage compound planetary with one stage parallel shaft. The high end uses a two planetary (2P) gear trains. Middle two units handle from 1.8 to 2.3 MW and 2.0 to 2.7MW.
The company says these designs are the product of 40 years of planetary gear experience in the company’s mining business, 70 years of helical gear experience in its marine business, advances in metallurgy from its aircraft engines business. In addition, developments in structural vibration, acoustics, and special materials come from the company’s Global Research Laboratories.
The company says its wind-turbine gearboxes are working reliably in over 1,000 installations in just North America. Design and development emphasizes quality from the start, when defects are easily corrected without impacting turbine availability. It is accomplished, says GE, with a Design for Six Sigma process that produces robust designs subjected to extensive validation testing at the component, subsystem, and system levels in company test labs. The table gives of a few specs for the low and high end units.
Filed Under: Gearboxes