Engineering Efficient Turbines

Online Editor

Siegfried Gsöls explores the challenges faced in wind turbine development and reveals how advanced coating solutions can assist

Servicing an entire fleet of wind turbines is incredibly costly because parts, logistics, repairs and associated transport costs are typically complex and demand highly specialised labour. Unpredictable weather can be hard on wind turbines and makes maintenance more expensive and difficult, too. In addition, wind turbine technology is constantly changing and being modified to improve effectiveness. This means products and assemblies can get quickly outdated, and ultimately, immature technology isn’t nearly as efficient at producing energy. Plus, wind turbine development often requires engineers to meet a variety of local and national government requirements.

GGB understands that engineers face many unique challenges depending on the industry they’re working in and the specific application they are dealing with. When it comes to engineering both offshore and onshore wind turbines, engineers are dealing with situations that arise from a variety of very specific issues. Simply put, there’s a whole lot of externalities to consider before an engineer ever opens their favourite drafting program. With the wind energy industry projected to reach US$160 billion in revenue by 2026, according to market research firm Global Market Insights, it’s clear that succeeding in this industry is of paramount importance to engineers.

Eco-Friendly Polymer Solutions

GGB works closely with customers in the early stage of a design to think broadly and boldly, and to expand beyond traditional bearings with engineered solutions such as the firm’s specially formulated TriboShield polymer coatings and paired TriboMate coatings, which are solutions that can offer an environmentally friendly alternative to hard chrome plating.

The company knows there is no “one-size-fits-all” approach to efficiency. That’s why it offers TriboMate paired solutions, helping users achieve the next generation of wind turbine performance. A customised range of coatings that work with other polymer surfaces and traditional bearings, TriboMate assists in significantly increasing service life, reducing friction, improving corrosion resistance and reducing system noise – especially in an industry such as wind power, where freedom of geometry is essential.

In addition to fretting wear resistance and self-lubrication, the coatings provide tailored friction levels for many complex-shaped surfaces that traditional cylindrical bearings alone cannot access. This allows engineers to create more simplistic designs that employ fewer parts and an easier assembly that results in, importantly, fewer part failures. When it comes to corrosion resistance, TriboMate can significantly increase chemical resistance for longer wear life, offering a barrier of inert material between surfaces to extend longevity.

A Solution For Growing Demands

Wind turbine engineers are facing greater challenges to meet growing demands. According to Global Market Insights, wind will account for 30% of all renewable energy capacity additions through 2025, and it’s vital that engineers get ahead of current problems before taking on the next generation of wind turbine production. That’s also why GGB’s team of application engineering professionals can partner with users in the early stages of system development to ensure that designs take full advantage of all the TriboMate benefits.

Siegfried Gsöls is with GGB

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