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Induction heating of wind power generators

The performance levels of the Minac generators are well-documented, but in Spain that performance is reaching new heights – quite literally!

With 1800 wind power generators in the Navarra region, Gamesa, a world-leading wind turbine manufacturer, had to act to prevent wear on the toothed rings that support the main propeller and hold its position in relation to the wind. The teeth needed to be hardened to preserve their operation over a longer life span. All very well until you realise that the only cost-effective solution way to do this was on-site—at a height of 60m! Add the remote and mountainous location of the wind power generators, and Gamesa needed converters that were easy to transport, easy to handle and easy to operate in extreme conditions. The Minac was the outstanding candidate and the choice was further vindicated during the preliminary testing. The toothed rings only needed a hardness of 45–50 HRc with Minac handling the job using compressed air for cooling rather than impractical water cooling. During operation, two guiding bars mounted directly on the ring gear supported the hardening coil, and a PLC-controlled gear motor automatically drove the coil motion.

Gamesa is delighted with the results. We saw the flexible performance of the Minac being put to the test to provide a unique and cost-effective solution to a rather special problem. Through its performance capabilities and compact dimensions, the Minac solution demonstrated a clear technical and cost-effective advantage.