CWind Inc., a subsidiary of Owen Sound, Ontario-based New World Generation Inc., is developing a new design for wind turbines. The new design has no gearbox and involves using a friction drive power train to transmit the power from the wind turbine blades through a main shaft to a number of electrical generators.
The CWind friction drive is designed for managing torque excursions identified as causing damage to current wind turbine drivetrains. The damage is manifested as a failure in gearboxes. The CWind drive has an inherent slip feature that protects the power-generating components from torque overloading during a wind gust.
Field testing results of the friction drive (FD) 65 kW has confirmed that the friction drive is efficient and reliable in protecting the electrical power-generating components, according to the company. With a field-measured friction drive efficiency of 96.7% at relatively high slip rate of 3.5%, the CWind drives prove to be a viable solution to the failure prone gearbox.
Testing results for a single tire of the 2 MW indicate that the drive can be further optimized to achieve an even higher transmission efficiency of 98% at a 2% slip rate at normal operational conditions.
CWind turbines are three-bladed, horizontal axes, up-wind, variable speed units. In addition, they have distinct and exclusive characteristics. CWind's technology features a friction flywheel driving multiple generators.
CWind is currently planning to move into the detailed design phase of its innovative FD 2 MW wind turbine and is actively seeking potential partners.
SOURCE: CWind Inc.