Power & Energy Solutions

The premier renewable energy publication

Gearbox services powered by digital technology

Our renewable electricity energy needs are growing in a world that is constantly evolving. The market requires more renewable energy for less money. The reduction of government subsidies means that the industry needs to start looking for ways to increase its efficiency.

More energy for less money

There are different possibilities for lowering the levelized cost of energy, such as avoiding unexpected downtimes (reducing the operational costs), extending the lifetime of the infrastructure, and increasing the power output.

By integrating digital technology into the intelligent gearboxes developed by
ZF Wind Power, customers will be able to improve all three aspects.

Avoiding unexpected gearbox downtime

The cost of an unexpected gearbox failure can be significant, especially when cranes or vessels are needed at short notice. Additionally, when certain spare parts are not available at the right time, it can cause significant turbine downtime.

Thanks to digital technology, every gearbox will leave ZF Wind Power’s factory with its own unique digital birth certificate. The certificate contains all the gearbox manufacturing information and can be accessed online by ZF’s and partnered service organizations. This way, ZF’s service team can calculate the consumed lifetime of each bearing and gear pair within a gearbox, combining the actual measured loads with knowledge about the mechanical strength of each component. Consequently, several fatigue-related failure mechanisms can be limited.

But it’s not only mechanical data that can be extracted. ZF Wind Power can also link measurement data from vibration and oil quality sensors to its cloud platform to detect problems with the gearbox early on and better plan proactive maintenance.

These analytics enable ZF Wind Power to ensure that the right spare parts are available when and where they are needed. Plus, analytics can predict possible future problems and downtimes are shortened thanks to professional service.

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