System Seals, a research-based seal manufacturer focused on optimizing main bearing performance, has created a new grease-pumping seal that dramatically reduces maintenance and costs for wind-turbine main bearings.
The Vortex is an innovative corkscrew-style seal that uses the turning action of a rotary shaft to pump grease back inside the bearing as grease tries to escape. During deflections, when grease naturally migrates toward the seal, the helical design of the Vortex continuously pumps it back inside.
System Seals developed the Vortex when a global wind turbine manufacturer requested an OEM retrofit seal to mitigate significant grease leakage and water ingress – issues that negatively compromised performance throughout wind farms and create environmental concerns.
“The Vortex was developed from our team’s desire to find the optimal solution to virtually eliminate failure and minimized the cost of ownership,” said System Seals Engineering Director Ron Claus. “We spent more than a year refining the design and rigorously testing prototypes to create a seal that delivered flawless results. The Vortex represents the pioneering work of our engineers, and we are pleased to make it available to the wind-power industry.”
The Vortex seal reduces grease waste, lowers maintenance costs and protects wind-turbine main bearings from catastrophic failure.