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UK drivetrain launched for 10MW wind turbines

Hybrid medium speed drivetrain designed for next generation on and offshore turbines

The drivetrain system is launched for the next generation of onshore and offshore turbines

A UK firm has launched a hybrid drivetrain system for on and offshore wind turbines up to 10MW. Romax Technology, one of the world’s leading independent gearbox and drivetrain design specialists, launched the “unique” cost effective medium speed drivetrain at Husum WindEnergy for the next generation of onshore and offshore wind turbines ranging from 3 to 10MW capacity.

The Romax Butterfly platform for drivetrain design is benchmarked to outperform the latest ‘medium speed’ designs and has been developed using Romax ‘Cost of Energy’ (CoE) modelling tools.

The fundamental Butterfly drivetrain platform design architecture stays the same from 3MW to 10MW, which facilitates the development of a consistent drivetrain sourcing, manufacture, operating and maintenance strategy across a wide turbine product range.

Romax said it has developed more GL certified gearbox designs than any other company and has applied all its experience in developing the Butterfly drivetrain platform. It has challenged conventional design considerations, using its design and performance monitoring expertise to focus on minimising the lifetime cost of the drivetrain - taking into account factors such as reliability and maintenance cost projections as well as performance.

Romax director of drivetrain, Dr Xiaobing Hu, said: “The Butterfly drivetrain platform represents the state-of-the-art in terms of simulation and engineering in the wind industry. It is revolutionary in providing a turnkey solution optimised for minimum cost of energy.”

As the latest addition to Romax’s range of ‘pre-developed’ gearbox and drivetrain designs, one of the key benefits of the Butterfly platform is that it offers turbine designers and manufacturers a quicker route to market and reduced risk with their new turbine products.

The Butterfly drivetrain platform offers multiple component and sub assembly sourcing options, providing turbine designers and manufacturers with total control over component specification and their supply chain.

The platform covers all elements of the drivetrain, including rotor shaft assembly, gearbox, generator, bearings, couplings, brake system and lubricating system, and is designed to exceed GL2010 and IEC 61400 requirements.

The Butterfly drivetrain also offers a number of flexible design options. This includes two bearing or moment bearing front end arrangement, multiple generator technologies and multiple main frame configurations. A key feature of the Butterfly Platform is that the gearbox and generator are semi-integrated which shortens the drivetrain and eliminates issues such as poor alignment between the two components.