KTRs System Solutions for Wind Power
- 05 April 2009
- Company & Industry News
Shaft couplings are used in train drives of wind farms to compensate for the misalignment between the gearbox and the generator. With this nature of applications, both components are mounted to flexible dampers causing relative movements to occur, which in turn may cause big displacements between the two.
The torsionally stiff RADEX steel lamina coupling by KTR has proven its worth on such high-quality applications. Not only do KTR supply couplings to wind farm manufacturers, but they are able to supply an overall system offering other important functions as well as transmitting the torque and compensating for displacements.
A GFK spacer is mounted between the coupling assembly on both the gearbox and generator side for electrical insulation. This will prevent the electrical current leaking when travelling from the generator to the gearbox, a problem which can lead to damage to the bearings and splines.
Usually, the couplings supplied to wind farms are equipped with a brake disc integrated on the gearbox side and a sensor disc for speed monitoring. The overload unit is compactly integrated within the coupling spacer. Before delivery the slipping torque is set by the manufacturer to a figure defined by the customer. This special overload unit ensures an accurate torque limitation, even in adverse ambient conditions.
KTR offers multifunctional assemblies including couplings, electric decoupling brakes, sensor discs and overload systems as a unit for machines with a power of up to 5 mW. Individual components are developed specifically for use in wind farm technology. For example, RADEX has a special laminae designed to compensate for big displacements.
KTR design engineers realised that for assembly and disassembly, large tools would be required and, along with very high torques, this was not an optimum solution when taking into account the small space inside the pod. As a result, the KTR design engineers found a solution adapted for the application. Special clamping nuts are used meaning that standard tools can be used; a big advantage for local assembly.
The couplings used in wind farms are usually certified by approved institutions such as Germanischer Lloyd who inspect all components transmitting torque with regard to stiffness and service life.
KTR has almost twenty years experience in the field of wind power technology and has already produced over 18,000 couplings for wind farms. Among the current trends is the use of special generators with low speeds in addition to increasing power, and the construction of offshore wind farms having higher demands on the service life. In these cases, the generator is flanged directly to the gearbox meaning the use of a coupling to compensate for shaft misalignment is no longer necessary, but in turn a high-performance overload performance against extremely high torque peaks should be used.
On these drives KTR overload systems provide the necessary protection.
For further information please contact:
KTR Couplings Ltd
Tel: +44 (0)114 258 7757
Fax: +44 (0)114 258 7740