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Gear box damage looks familiar -- Nordex's turn

Three gear boxes on Nordex 600 kW wind turbines have failed -- two of them for unknown reasons -- sending a signal to the wind industry that problems with gear boxes and bearings encountered over the last year are far from over. All three of the damaged Peac 4280 gears, manufactured by German Flender, show the same signs of damage as Flender gear boxes on 1250 NEG Micon turbines now being retrofitted (Windpower Monthly, March 2000), says Strange Skriver, consultant to the Danish wind turbine owners association.

Skriver has inspected a damaged gear box in Nordex's Danish factory. In one instance, damage was caused by a test with a larger rotor than usual on the machine. But the cause of damage on the other two gear boxes has not yet been discovered, confirms Nordex's Carsten Pedersen. "I want to stress that Nordex will never run from responsibility," Pedersen says. "If we have a problem like this one, it must be solved." Another Flender gear, Peas 4290, is contributing to delays in commissioning some of Nordex's new 800 kW turbines, according to Nordex.

Until recently, both Nordex and Flender were owned by the German Babcock Borsig concern. In March, the majority of shares in Flender were sold to the British Citicorp Centure Capital.

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