Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya - UPC

NEW SOLUTION TO PREVENT EXCESSIVE WEAR IN GEAR USEFUL FOR WIND TURBINES

Posted by Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya - UPCResponsive · Patents for licensing · Spain

Summary of the technology

A new system to prevent the excessive wear in a tooth gear has been developed and patented. The system is specially developed to prevent the wear at the pitch and/or yaw gear tooth systems from the wind turbines but it could be used in others gears applications. Partners to further develop the system and/ or to establish commercial agreements along with technical cooperation are sought.

Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya - UPC
Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya - UPC

The Challenge


The growing demand of electricity leads wind turbine industry to produce more electricity day by day. Hence, manufactures increase the dimensions of wind turbine rotors and consequently its components loads. Moreover, wind turbines reliability is still miles away from other more established energy industries, like hydraulic or nuclear power. For instance, the failure ratio for the blades and the pitch system is 13.4%, and for the yaw system is 6.7%, around 20% both systems. The excessive wear at the tooth surface of these systems is one of the major problems occurring, which inevitable conducts the manufacturer to apply costly corrective maintenance tasks. Precisely, the optimization of these operational costs together with the need to achieve a higher turbine's reliability, are among the key challenges which faces the wind power industry.

The Technology


The novel tribology solution consists of an array of micro channels which inject fresh lubricant directly at the hertz of the tooth contacts of pitch system gears.
It acts on the low power position, at degree zero of the teeth, building up a hydrodynamic grease film that prevents direct metal contact and reduces the wear process of tooth surfaces. The system can be easily implemented into new wind turbine models and it is highly adaptive, so that the system can be steadily implanted in market models.

Current stage of development


The system has been successfully tested in a laboratory prototype with gears module higher than 10. The grease flow along the micro channels and it is correctly distributed without suffering any degradation.

Applications and Target Market


The system has been developed to be integrated into any type of gear transmission. The system can be assembled in the teeth that suffers wear to improve the lubrication and eliminate the degradation. It is specially developed to implant at the pitch system that suffers excessive wear at the working tooth of zero degree blade position and/or in the yaw system at the working tooth of the prevailing wind direction of wind turbines.

Innovative advantages


· Optimum lubrication with micro injection Direct lubrication at wear point High lubrication control Inexpensive production and integration Implementation for all wind turbines models Cheap implementation at ongoing wind turbines

Intellectual property status

Granted Patent
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Technology available for licensing with technical cooperation Patent Status US /EP patent application

Technology Owner

Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya - UPC

Technology Transfer Office

Related keywords

  • Wind Technology
  • Energy Technology
  • Turbines
  • Protecting Man and Environment
  • Environment
  • Climate Change mitigation
  • Wind Market

About Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya - UPC

Technology Transfer Office from Spain

The Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya - BarcelonaTech is a public institution dedicated to higher education and research in the fields of engineering, architecture and science, which contributes its knowledge and expertise in order to increase scientific output, transfer its results to society and provide a network of scientific and technical state-of-the-art facilities and technology valorization services that place us at the leading edge of innovation and economic development.

The UPC has established itself as a driver of innovation and is the technology partner of choice for companies and organizations with which it develops projects and builds partnerships. A role borne out by the numerous agreements and research projects that have been set in motion by groups, organizations and laboratories; the creation of new technology-based companies; the generation and exploitation of patents, and the scientific and technical services UPC makes available to its environment in order to generate progress and employment.

The Technology Transfer Office (SGI) is responsible of Designing, coordinating and implementing research valorisation strategies, carrying out the protection policy of the research results, marketing these results through license contracts and designing and setting up the University's enterprise creation model in order to transfer the results of the research to the market, protect and commercialize these results, promote the culture of entrepreneurship and innovation, and create technology-based companies within the UPC environment.

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