Gearboxfailure.com is a resource for designers, technicians, operators, and owners of geared machinery. The site provides information on gearbox failure analysis, gear and bearing failure modes, failure mode identification with many high resolution images of failed gears, how to prevent additional failures, and perhaps most importantly, what can be done to prevent failures from occurring in the first place.
Contributors to the site include accomplished gear designers, metallurgists, tribologists, and gear and bearing failure analysts in the industry. Site authors offer support in a variety of ways. Visitors can read the “Ask an Expert” forum to see previous questions and answers and submit their own questions. Visitors can also find an extensive collection of Resources, available as immediate downloads or shipped directly to you. We also provide Consulting and Onsite Training services.
The following case study of a wind turbine gearbox failure provides an example of the expertise available from the site:
An operator of wind turbines suffered from multiple gearbox failures at a one of its wind farms. Many components failed in each gearbox. The operator was unsure which failures were the primary failure and which were collateral damage. The operator also did not know how many more gearbox failures to expect at its project, and what they could do to reduce the number of expected failures in the future. The customer asked GearboxFailure.com to perform a failure analysis investigation and to create a gearbox reliability forecast for their wind-turbine project.
Engineers from the website directed a teardown inspection of the failed gearbox, carefully documenting the condition of every gear and bearing. Using the experience gained from dozens of wind turbine gearbox failure analysis investigations, and their deep knowledge of gear and bearing failure modes, they determined which component was responsible for the primary failure of the gearbox and which components were collateral damage.
With this knowledge, they created reliability models of the gearbox and made forecasts of the expected rates of gearbox failure for standard operating conditions and for operating conditions where loads reduction steps were taken.
The findings of the gearbox failure investigation provided the operator clarity regarding which component was responsible for the failure of its gearboxes, and what caused the component to fail. The reliability analysis gave the operator insight into the future reliability of their gearboxes, along with several load reduction steps they could take to improve the reliability of the gearboxes. The operator also learned what measures could be taken to improve the reliability of the repaired gearboxes.
In the Ask an expert section, one that answers a dozen or so questions regarding gearboxes, perhaps the most relevant to wind farm O&M crews is: Why do gearboxes in wind turbines fail more than those used in other applications? The answers and more at GearboxFailure.com
Filed Under: Renewable energy, Gears • gearheads • speed reducers