Wind Turbine Gearbox Projects

SMT have been part of exciting wind projects all over the globe ranging from 1.5MW to 7MW installations. The following are some examples of these projects and some feedback from the clients.

1.5MW & 2MW – Conventional Configuration

SMT’s Portugal team developed a number of gearboxes for two globally leading energy companies based in Europe including 1.5MW and 2MW gearboxes.
Development included design, analysis, testing and manufacture support.

These gearboxes are characterised by:

  • Low weight – 12 tonnes against average 17.5 tonnes
  • Low manufacturing costs – Approx. €7000 per tonne
  • Low bearing purchase costs – Approx. €15,000
  • Special design features to ease maintenance
  • Optimal reliability – No single failure since 2003

2.05MW – Differential with Flexible Pin

SMT developed 2.05MW differential with flexible pin design for a Chinese manufacturer.

Responsible for supervising the client’s team to conduct design and analysis as well as providing some support in manufacturing, assembly and testing.

  • Flexible Pin – advanced technology which improves planetary load sharing. Requires a high level of expertise to create a suitable design
  • Benefits of SMT’s design – Reduced weight and significantly lower NVH results than conventional gearboxes

Analysis using MASTA

Advanced system deflection and load sharing analysis performed with the SMT MASTA Suite. Find out more…

Flexible Pin designs often suffer from high noise, however this design produced much lower noise values throughout testing. This couldn’t have been achieved without the combination of SMT’s experience in Wind Turbine Gearbox design and production.

Client feedback

Flexible pin gearboxes are difficult to make as quiet as conventional gearboxes but this gearbox designed by SMT is even quieter

5MW – Conventional Configuration for Hyosung

SMT developed 5MW design for Hyosung, a major Korean conglomerate

  • Responsible for design and analysis, with additional consultation on manufacturing, assembly and testing
  • 2 and half years from design to completion for testing
  • Gearbox weighed 25% less than a leading 5MW gearbox
  • Easy to assemble
  • Vibration well within permissible acceleration limits

Analysis using SMT CAE tools

Full design, Loaded contact tooth analysis and simulation for certification performed with SMT CAE tools. Find out more…

It was highly impressive to achieve the design correctly first time for such a high power gearbox and in a relatively short period of time.

General Manager at Hyosung
Read the full testimonial

5MW – Multi Layshaft

Designing the next generation of Wind Turbine Gearboxes.

There is a move away from planetary gear sets for the following reasons:

  • Market trend: Gearboxes power density is increasing, therefore ring gear hardening is more problematic
  • Use of planetary gear sets results in high maintenance costs due to the difficulty of extracting & reinstalling gearboxes

In this design, the gearbox contains only parallel fixed shafts or multi lay shafts.

Project outcomes

  • Reduced manufacturing costs due to repeated use of parts
  • Good maintenance accessibility on the nacelle
  • Herringbone gears to improve load sharing

Other Projects

  • Collaboration with various other international companies
    • 1.5MW, 1.6MW, 2MW, 3MW, 3.6MW, 5MW, 7MW