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Wind turbine gearbox dryer protects lubrication

09 July 2010

Brownell has introduced a self reactivating dry air breather to prevent contamination of gearbox lubricating oil by water and condensation. The REGEN8 has a robust all weather construction and features automatic process control, including a telemetry option for remote monitoring and control.

Many lubricating oils have a water vapour adsorption characteristic. Commercially available lubricating oils are delivered by most manufacturers with low residual water content. Maintaining this low residual moisture level throughout the gearbox life is a major challenge and requires an active moisture control and management system.

Excessive moisture in a gearbox can result in increased corrosion, a loss of lubrication properties and changes in oil viscosity. The efficient operation of a gearbox through wide operating temperatures during summer and winter is essential.

The Brownell REGEN8 ensures that the water vapour in the gearbox is maintained at a safe level. The water vapour is adsorbed using an active adsorbent in a twin channel system that ensures a constant supply feed of dry air into the gearbox. When the adsorbent is saturated an automatic reactivation process is initiated which restores the adsorbent to its maximum efficiency level.

REGEN8 can be used for wind turbine gearboxes of up to 1,000 litres free air space.

Brownell has also developed a moisture adsorbing polymer (shown in the lower picture) that can be shaped and fixed within any packaging medium. A practical alternative to conventional desiccant bags, the polymer is easily cut, formed, punched, shaped and thermo-formed or may be supplied in a standard 200 x 200mm board size. It provides an excellent level of clean drying in a wide variety of products from electronics, machinery, optics and instruments to pharmaceuticals and food.

Low dusting, with no risk of loose desiccants from broken bags, the board is not water soluble. Uniform in thickness and easy to pack, it is non-corrosive and non-deliquescent and even provides a printable surface.

By allowing complex shaping, pliability and mechanical fixing, this humidity adsorbing board helps ensure maximum space occupancy, which is increasingly demanded of moisture protection by product miniaturisation, often with placement as part of the production process.

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