Solutions that improve reliability and lifespan of wind turbines to be featured
LAS VEGAS – With an expected surge in the wind industry, the U.S. Department of Energy estimates that wind energy could supply 20 percent of the nation's power by 2030. Recognizing this, Freudenberg-NOK Sealing Technologies will be showcasing its industry solutions at the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) WINDPOWER 2014 Conference & Exhibition in Las Vegas from May 5 to 8.
AWEA WINDPOWER is the annual conference for the U.S. wind industry in which professionals gather to discuss current trends and issues.
Freudenberg-NOK's general industry organization is addressing many of the most pressing challenges wind energy manufacturers are working to resolve. These include developing wind turbines that can run trouble-free for decades and producing reliable components for the systems that can withstand environmental extremes. As part of its Power segment, which encompasses alternative energy solutions including wind power, Freudenberg-NOK is developing materials and products to help the wind industry evolve into a dependable power source.
"The reliability of a wind turbine rides on the quality of its components," said Michael Littig, global segment director, Energy, Freudenberg Sealing Technologies. "As the wind industry continues to grow, turbine manufacturers will look for long-term sealing solutions to extend the life of systems. Our technologies offer excellent wear resistance, protection from weather and defense against ozone, which are all factors that degrade turbines over time."
Seals play a critical role in the operation of turbines, whether it is insulating critical parts against the elements or preventing essential lubricants from leaking out of the system. The company will showcase a collection of its wind energy products at AWEA WINDPOWER, some of which will include:
• Radiamatic® R 35 and R 55 oil seals: R35 – a well proven seal for nearly 20 years in main bearings, now with new Ventoguard® material. R55 – a newly developed seal offering perfect protection of the main bearing through an additional deflector lip with a special texture to prevent a vacuum on the shaft. To ensure a constant and specific high line pressure along the sealing lip, special adapted worm springs are used for the typical large shaft diameters. These seals are easy to install and offer increased protection from the elements, ensuring a long service life.
• Enviromatic EA seal: a deflector seal also created from a Ventoguard material for rotary applications that extends the service life of the sealing system. Enviromatic EA acts as a wiper, effectively and reliably preventing salt, dirt and humidity from reaching and contaminating the radial shaft seals of main bearings and main transmissions. A combination with an existing metal-labyrinth is a common approach.
• Profile seals: these include uses for nacelle sealing and profiles in pitch and yaw bearings. They are made from Ventoguard materials to improve service life, reliability and functional consistency. Extreme temperature and ozone resistance are key characteristics, with Ventoguard profile seals for pitch bearings offering flexibility of up to -40°C.
To provide more efficient solutions, Freudenberg-NOK uses Finite Element Analysis (FEA), a simulation that helps predict performance of different design proposals and gives engineers hundreds of variations from which to choose. FEA ensures product reliability, functionality and design success under the harshest environmental conditions, and the process reduces development time and is cost effective.
"These products will assist in allowing turbines to run for decades with minimal maintenance," Littig said of Freudenberg-NOK's portfolio. "As wind system manufacturers achieve greater turbine reliability by using components like the advanced seals that we have developed, wind will continue to grow as an energy source."
For more information about Freudenberg-NOK's products, please visit booth (#4914) at AWEA WINDPOWER 2014 in the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas. For more information about the show, please visit: http://windpowerexpo.org/.