Use case: Wind turbine for energy production

Adsorber for gear & hydraulic unit

A wind turbine or wind energy plant converts the kinetic energy of the wind into electrical energy. For this purpose, this plant requires a gear transmission between the rotor and the generator. This transmission gear serves to increase the speed. GIEBEL Adsorbers® protect the gearboxes and hydraulic systems from damage and ensure smooth operation of the wind turbine.

Structure of wind turbine

A wind turbine consists of the rotor, the tower and the nacelle. The nacelle contains the wind turbine’s gearbox and generator. To ensure that the wind turbine is always in the wind, it can be rotated by means of wind direction tracking.

Other components include the hydraulic system for the brake and for locking the rotor. If the wind blows too strongly or maintenance work is required, the wind turbine can be shut down by a brake.

Gearbox – damage prevention

The vast majority of wind turbine manufacturers use gearboxes that change the speed and torque between the wind rotor and the generator. The rotor shaft turns slowly with a very high torque, and the generator turns very fast with a low torque.

Due to the overload of the power grid, the wind turbine comes to a standstill more often. The cooling of the gearbox caused by the standstill ensures that air from the environment is “breathed in”. If this air contains dirt and moisture, this leads to oil saturation via condensation in the gearbox. Possible damage, such as corrosion or cavitation, etc., can lead to high maintenance and unplanned downtime costs for the entire plant.

GIEBEL Adsorbers protect the wind turbine gearboxes against the entry of moisture and dirt. Thus, the oil is permanently protected from any contamination and maintains a long product life cycle. Furthermore, GIEBEL Adsorbers have a special design for gearbox ventilation and ensure permanent protection even during frequent operating changes.

Hydraulic system – Anhydrous oil

Hydraulic systems perform various tasks in wind turbines. The hydraulic braking systems provide very high forces, operate largely wear-free and achieve a long service life. In addition, hydraulic accumulator units enable them to operate even in the event of a power failure. For example, units are used for azimuth and drive train brakes as well as rotor locking.

This makes reliable and damage-free operation of hydraulic systems in wind turbines all the more crucial. Dirt and moisture must be separated before entering the hydraulics. Otherwise, there is a risk of unexpected failures and high maintenance costs.

GIEBEL Adsorbers® ensure a dirt- and water-free ventilation of the plants and supply the hydraulic tanks with cleaned and dried air. The use of a sensor-monitored adsorber in the nacelle enables online monitoring of the saturation status and thus preventive and planned maintenance operations.

GIEBEL Adsorber® – the recommended solution

To maintain a long maintenance interval of an aeration dryer, GIEBEL has developed the VV-DV series. Thanks to a valve system, the desiccant is protected from unnecessary loading and the product life cycle is extended.
The disposable cartridge can be replaced within a few minutes. This guarantees safe and cost-effective handling, while maintaining a long life cycle and high drying efficiency.

Conclusion

The use of an adsorber ensures that a wind turbine can be operated reliably and trouble-free. GIEBEL Adsorbers® efficiently protect gearboxes and hydraulic systems from water- and dirt-related damage. In doing so, GIEBEL provides support through the special design of the products and know-how in the field of aeration drying.