Gearing up

I have in the past written about a number of clever ways of achieving very large gear reductions in a single stage, but what about going the other way?

I recently took a call from one of the members of the Kent Inventor's Club, which generally meets on the first Wednesday of each month on the Chatham Campus at Greenwich University, as to whether we had any good ideas as to how best to achieve a 50 to 100:1 gearing up in a single stage. The target application is wind turbines. The blades turn slowly but the generators need to turn fast. Conventional wind turbine gearboxes are vulnerable to lightning strikes going through them, and changing torques and large inertias also cause problems. Even when the gearboxes are carefully monitored, as they usually are on big machines, observers of wind farms may notice that the blades on such machines are often not turning when they should be. Inspired by the lighting generator I used to have on my bicycle wheel as a student, I suggested a friction drive, using the sort of lubricant employed in the Torotrak variable speed transmission. This can transmit lots of shear force while preventing the running surfaces from damaging each other when they slip. If anyone has a better idea, or a working device, please let them, and/or us, know.

Author
Tom Shelley

This material is protected by MA Business copyright
See Terms and Conditions.
One-off usage is permitted but bulk copying is not.
For multiple copies contact the sales team.

 

Supporting Information
Do you have any comments about this article?
Hi Tom,
As you seem to need a 50/100 to 1 ratio increase to speed up the generators, have you thought of interlinking 3 of the Torotrak "Toroidal Variable Auxiliary Drive" units together, to end up with a maximum ratio of approximately 244:1?
Have a look at the following shortcut,
http://www.torotrak.com/Resources/Torotrak/Documents/TVADs.pdf ,then talk to Torotrak's commercial people.
Mark McC.


Comment Mark McC, 22/05/2009
Name
 
Email
 
Comments
 

Your comments/feedback may be edited prior to publishing. Not all entries will be published.
Please view our Terms and Conditions before leaving a comment.

© MA Business Ltd (a Mark Allen Group Company) 2020