WIND TURBINE GEAR BOX FAILURE
Wind Turbine Gear Boxes live in a hostile environment 250 feet above the ground where temperatures vary from below freezing to 150 F, low to high humidity swings, subtle vibrations and torsional movements, frequent stop and start cycles, constant speed variations and torque changes. These devices have 80 tons of hub and blades hanging on the end of the input shaft. Subtle structural distortions, thermal expansion and contraction of dissimilar materials, large step up ratios and frequent start and stop cycles challenge gears and bearings in ways that can’t be avoided in present day designs. These issues are not easily managed in existing fleets. Bearing load, shaft alignment and gear contact produce abrasive wear debris oil contamination under these conditions that must be effectively removed and contained to minimize the additional damage abrasive materials in the lubricant contribute to exponential bearing and gear wear. Water condensation in the gearbox must be prevented with proper ventilation of the case. Use of proven up tower filtration will add years to the life of bearings and gears by removing abrasive wear debris and water from the gear case. It is not difficult to upgrade to high quality filter elements and high quality filter elements properly applied will extend service life and cost no more.
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