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Turbines of the year: Drivetrains

WORLDWIDE: Greater power without weight penalties in drive development

Winergy gearbox for 8MW Adwen turbine developed with roller-type and journal bearings
Winergy gearbox for 8MW Adwen turbine developed with roller-type and journal bearings

MEDAL WINNER

GOLD Winergy 8MW gearbox

The world’s highest-rated gearbox with 9.9MNm input torque was developed for Adwen’s 8MW turbine in two versions; one with roller-type bearings, the second with journal bearings.

An impressive feature is that more than 70% of higher torque capacity was achieved with only a 20% increase in weight compared with gearboxes used in 6MW-plus turbines.

A conventional design approach would have roughly doubled gearbox mass for similar torque.

Other design variables and specifications were equally new and of a different scale, requiring better understanding of materials behaviour, and accepting higher overall gearbox design flexibility.

Scaling demands also required full understanding of complex non-linear scaling rules and processes. The final mix of proven principles and innovative solutions had both the current platform and future scalability in mind.

The two-stage planetary medium-speed unit is nearly 4.0 metres long, 3.3 metres wide and 3.7 metres high, and incorporates a low-speed stage with a ring gear of over 3.0 metres in diameter and four matching planet gears.

Winergy has made four gearboxes for Adwen, validated in three phases. The first was a back-to-back testing of two units with 125% overload. The second took place at Fraunhofer IWES DyNaLab and the final test is in the AD 8-180 prototype.

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