Motion Control & Drives


Lubricants for wind power plants

January 2023 Motion Control & Drives

The spotlight is firmly on the uptake of clean energy sources, as the government aims to increase its share of renewable energy in its energy mix from 11% to 41% by 2030. This means the deployment of 11,8 GW of large-scale renewable energy capacity, translating into significant opportunities for both investors and independent power producers (IPPs).

Despite South Africa having some of the best solar and wind energy resources in the world, these only make up about 8% of the country’s energy mix at present. Solar and wind plants can be constructed in a two-year timeframe, and have very low running costs.

Modern wind power plants must have the highest possible effectiveness to generate electricity efficiently. Optimum design of the machine elements is required to achieve this over a plant lifetime often exceeding 20 years. Minimising friction in the entire system is critical, but avoiding wear is even more important. Once the moving components such as roller bearings or gear wheels show initial signs of wear, this is irreversible, with a dramatic impact on the service life of components.

In particular, the pitch and yaw bearings in wind power plants are subject to high requirements from a tribological point of view due to the adverse environmental conditions. Conventional greases do not provide adequate wear protection in this instance. The use of solid lubricants has proven to be effective in isolating running surfaces and rolling elements from one another during static and mixed friction phases, thus preventing wear. Due to their high physio-mechanical pressure resistance, these solid lubricants, unlike oils and simple greases, remain between and isolate the surfaces of the components, even under high surface pressures.

Through many years of research activities involving close partners from the wind power industry, Fuchs has succeeded in developing a special mixture of reactive white solid lubricants. Triggered by the action of a defined load, the white solid lubricants form a protective reactive layer on the contact surfaces. This reactive layer reduces friction and, above all, the wear of the components of the roller bearing.

When it comes to the maintenance of wind power plants, Fuchs offers a full range of special lubricants. “Whether in hot, cold, dry or aggressive saline environments – wherever wind power stations generate energy – we do everything to ensure that no energy is lost unnecessarily,” comments Ernst Bekker, technical sales specialist in the Lubritech Division. “We have developed specialty lubricants for this purpose that clearly contribute to reducing the wear on equipment and significantly reduce your maintenance effort and expenditure, all for ideally smooth generation with no loss of energy and with optimal frictional wear protection,” adds Giles Cutter, export divisional manager.

For pitch and yaw bearings, GLEITMO 585 K is a well-proven, fully synthetic special lubricant containing reactive white solid lubricants. This synergistic combination offers excellent protection against wear, even under critical operational conditions like vibration, and small oscillations under high load, which are typical for pitch and yaw bearings in wind turbines. It is also ideal for gear lubrication of pitch and yaw bearings using lubrication pinions.

STABYL LX 460 SYN is a fully synthetic high-performance grease developed especially for use in wind turbines. Due to its wide operating temperature range, high mechanical stability, and outstanding load-carrying capacity, this grease is ideal for the lubrication of the main rotor bearings. Its special properties mean taht it can also be used as a multifunctional grease in the demanding lubricating areas of azimuth and pitch bearings.

CEPLATTYN BL WHITE is a white adhesive lubricant with reactive solid lubricants. It is used as a lubricant for machines and machine components operating under difficult conditions, and subject to extreme temperature fluctuations and environmental influences. A specialised application is the lubrication of azimuth and pitch gear rings in wind turbines.

URETHYN XHD 2 is a soft lubricating grease with a synthetic hydrocarbon base oil and a very temperature-resistant polyurea thickener. A selected additive package provides excellent wear protection, even at fluctuating speeds, temperatures and loads.




Share this article:
Share via emailShare via LinkedInPrint this page

Further reading:

Wedge belts for tough conditions
Bearing Man Group t/a BMG Motion Control & Drives
BMG’s extensive range of Fenner power transmission components encompasses high-performance Fenner Quattro Plus Twin Wrapped (QPTW) wedge belts, that transmit 30% more power than the standard Fenner drivebelts.

Read more...
Quality gearboxes for irrigation
SEW-Eurodrive Editor's Choice Motion Control & Drives
SEW-EURODRIVE is offering a complete gear solution for centre pivot irrigation systems as an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) closer to South Africa’s farming sector.

Read more...
Improving safety and belt life
Bearing Man Group t/a BMG Motion Control & Drives
BMG’s Power Transmission division has the solution to avoid dangers during installation and maintenance procedures in many industries. An easy to operate rotation device from Gates enhances safety for operators during installation and maintenance processes.

Read more...
More movement on the market
Motion Control & Drives
If you want to move something, you have to be able to control the movement. When positioning in the nanometre range everything matters and requires high performance motion control. Six years ago, Aerotech therefore set itself the goal of revolutionising the market for precision motion and machine control systems.

Read more...
Highly customisable robotic hand
Motion Control & Drives
NSK and the German Aerospace Centre are developing a robotic hand system that will help automate manual tasks. The concept centres on a customisable robot hand comprising individually configurable finger modules, an industry first.

Read more...
Electrically-operated diaphragm pumping solutions
Bearing Man Group t/a BMG Motion Control & Drives
BMG has extended its range of Ingersoll Rand ARO fluid handling products to include the new EVO series electric diaphragm pumps, designed to enhance energy efficiency and improve fluid handling productivity.

Read more...
Surface drill rigs for Navachab in Namibia
Motion Control & Drives
Epiroc South Africa recently delivered five of six FlexiROC drilling machines to key customer, Navachab Gold Mine.

Read more...
Grease degradation diagnosis technology
Motion Control & Drives
NSK is developing a world-first: a high-accuracy way of rapidly and accurately diagnosing the remaining life of lubricant grease. The company will provide the solution as a mobile app, enabling users to perform the onsite analysis of lubricant condition in bearings and linear motion systems.

Read more...
New compact VFDs with higher power ratings
Motion Control & Drives
Invertek Drives has revealed the extension of its industry-leading Optidrive Coolvert variable frequency drive with the launch of two new compact frame sizes with higher power ratings.

Read more...
Asset reliability care field dominated by WearCheck
Wearcheck Motion Control & Drives
Condition monitoring specialist, WearCheck has solidified its position as a leading player in the asset reliability care sector.

Read more...