Gear oil change: for wind turbines

Wind turbines work in constantly changing weather conditions – strong winds, storms, rainfalls, icing, etc. These and other factors can affect the power output and the life of a wind turbine. Therefore, it is necessary to carry regular maintenance by refilling a gearbox of a wind turbine with new oil every six months;  adding the antifriction additives into gear oil every year; and complete replacement of oil every two years. The maintenance of a wind turbine gearbox is done by a special Gear Oil Changer.

Gear oil lubricates the main bearings – rotor blades, generator, gearbox and the main shaft (all components of the drive train)

Although in recent years the research is going on to develop the wind turbines without a gearbox, still it is clear that they are inferior to the wind turbines with generators and gearboxes. Hence bigger wind turbines, with megawatt power outputs, combining shafts, bearings and gears remain more in demand and  require a supply of gear oil.

The causes of the gear oil deterioration and the reasons why it should be changed

The gear oil  is subjected to contamination by mechanical impurities, oxidation products, dissolved and undissolved water and particles from the inner body of the rotor.

These operating conditions significantly reduce the performance of gear oil.

Without scheduled refilling/changing of gear oil, the wind turbine gears rust with their parts welded, the rotor of the generator stops operating correctly.

GlobeCore CMM-G Gear Oil Changer

We have already found that the operation of a wind turbine drive train is not possible without replacement of gear oil in a gearbox. GlobeCore continues to improve its gear oil changers for supplying oil to wind turbines.

This time we would like to introduce an improved mobile gear oil changer for replacement of gear oil – CMM-G.

The mobility of this gear oil changer allows it to be transported by any vehicle. It has compact dimensions: 5 m in length and 2.4 m in a wheelbase, weighing 3.5 tons with a full tank of waste oil.

CMM-G gear oil changer is built into a 2-axle trailer, complete with tanks for waste and new oil, equipment enclosure housing a generator and pumps, automatic hose reel drum with hoses. The side walls of the equipment enclosure are provided with doors and shutters for easy access and maintenance, and a storage pod for tools.

There are additional filters of 3 and 5 microns for cleaning new oil.

CMM-G is fully automated. The system monitors the operation of pumps, compressors, electric valves, capacitive sensors and temperature sensors, pressure gauges, flow meters and filters.

GlobeCore gear oil changer operates in the following modes:

  • loading new oil (and flushing oil)
  • draining used oil;
  • draining used oil into an additional tank bypassing the used oil tank
  • flushing gearbox with flushing oil (from used oil tank)
  • oil heating;
  • filling new oil;
  • draining used oil from the unit

Benefits of gear oil changer:

  • high-quality service and maintenance of a wind turbine gearbox;
  • compact size for easy transportation;
  • automatic control system;
  • high productivity (a wind turbine gearbox is serviced in an hour);
  • automatic reeling of hoses;
  • operation without connection to electrical outlet ( generator power ).