ZF’s innovation and pioneering projects over time, demonstrate leadership in wind gearbox solutions
Continuous research and smart applications of digital solutions make ZF a dependable service partner for all global wind projects
ZF’s experience and excellence have resulted in a powerful service partnership following joining forces with Vestas
This year, at American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) Wind Power, ZF Wind Power takes visitors on a trip through memory lane, filled with innovation milestones in wind gearboxes and service. They will experience four decades of continuous gearbox innovations, provided by a trusted partner with a global footprint and established high-end manufacturing capabilities. Starting in the second decade of this millennium, ZF Wind Power presents SHIFT, the most powerful gearbox platform, and ‘Service powered by Analytics’, the use of digital technology to increase output, availability and lifetime. Walking down the timeline, visitors will experience how the size of gearboxes have evolved during the years. The tour ends with the birth of the first gearbox for the wind industry in 1979, which will be available at the fair too.
ZF Wind Power has demonstrated commitment to a growing wind industry and is positioned as a key player to transform global energy systems over the next decades to come.
From the first gearbox ‘RNC21’ in 1979, to ‘SHIFT 6k’, a game-changer
In 1979, ‘RNC21’ the first ZF-gearbox for the wind industry was born and shipped to Denmark.
During the last 40 years, ZF Wind Power has proven to be a true innovator in the wind industry. In a constantly evolving world, energy demand is growing. Competitiveness of wind power depends on improvements of LCoE (Levelized Cost of Energy), where both gearbox design improvements and lifecycle services play a major role. Thanks to 40 years of continuous research and development, ZF has created deep and rich technology solutions that have now led to the world’s most compact and powerful design that significantly reduce LCoE: ‘SHIFT 6k’.
‘SHIFT 6k’ is the most powerful wind gearbox platform in terms of torque density (175 Nm/kg), powering a new generation of turbines from 4.5MW up to 7MW with rotor diameters of up to 180 meters.
Smart application of digital technology drives efficiency
Data analytics are key in ZF Wind Power’s vision to reduce OPEX (Operating Expenses), increase the output and availability, and extend wind turbine lifetime.
The first data part in a stable foundation for optimized services, is data from the development and manufacturing of every single gearbox. This part is ZF Wind Power’s ‘Digital Birth Certificate’.
The second part in the foundation is the performance data of gearboxes, which is called the Life Cycle Monitor.
The combination of the Digital Birth Certificate and Life Cycle Monitor with ZF Wind Power’s gearbox expertise, about how things can go wrong and how to solve them, is used in Life Cycle Analytics. This provides lifetime predictions and alert-based recommendations supporting the decision-making for O&M (Operations and Maintenance) activities and the service execution thereof. This process is key to optimizing services and reducing LCoE.
Wind turbine operators managing the O&M risks related to a drivetrain need certainty in availability when it comes to effective and efficient service solutions. They do not want to depend on market conditions for prices or availability of resources and spare parts to avoid wind turbine downtime.
ZF Wind Power has created the ‘Spare Parts Optimization Service’ as a first step towards making sure that the right component is available at the right time and place. This service comes with O&M documentation available online. Customers receive the latest documentation, technical manuals, and a spare parts list for every gearbox.
“This enables each field crew around the world to have access to the latest information. This way, repair activities, on site as well as in workshops, can be optimized, both in terms of cost and time.” says Antti Turunen, head of ZF Wind Power’s service organization. “As part of the service, customers get genuine gearbox spare parts at competitive prices, providing transparency in future repair costs, and at a pre-defined delivery time. Having the right parts available at the right time and place minimizes the turbine downtime and, consequently, lost production hours.”
ZF Wind Power
As a leading worldwide automotive supplier for Driveline and Chassis Technology ZF can look back at 100 years of experience in developing and building transmissions. With more than 120 GW of installed wind energy and 70 years of experience in the wind sector (along with the former Hansen and Bosch Rexroth activities) ZF Wind Power is a competent partner, supplying major manufacturers of gear-driven wind turbines with a gearbox output range up to 9.5 MW power capacity and serving all key wind power segments.
ZF is determined to be the leading supplier in geared solutions for wind turbines and is committed to succeed in making wind power the most attractive energy source in the future.
With state-of-the-art manufacturing plants and worldwide service locations, ZF Wind Power is dedicated to delivering advanced gearbox solutions and services on a global scale, meeting the individual needs of the global wind energy market. Headquartered in Belgium, the company has a global footprint with manufacturing and service presence in Europe, China, India and the US.
ZF Friedrichshafen AG
ZF is a global leader in driveline and chassis technology as well as active and passive safety technology. The company has a global workforce of 146,000 with approximately 230 locations in some 40 countries. In 2017, ZF achieved sales of €36.4 billion and as such, is one of the largest automotive suppliers worldwide. ZF enables vehicles to see, think and act. The company invests more than six percent of its sales in research and development annually – in particular for the development of efficient and electric drivelines and also in striving for a world without accidents. With its broad portfolio, ZF is advancing mobility and services for passenger cars, commercial vehicles and industrial technology applications.
For further press information and photos, please visit: www.zf.com