Better Gearbox Monitoring - Isis Project No 8347
An approach that provides for direct characterisation of the surface condition of the gears themselves which can be used alone or in combination with established sensing technologies to improve monitoring of gearboxes in applications such as wind turbines.
Condition monitoring systems aim to improve operating and maintenance efficiency by reducing or eliminating component failures and unscheduled downtime. In many applications monitoring the health of a gearbox is critical.
Current monitoring systems use measurements of the lubricating oil; variations in transmitted torque; abnormal vibrations; or acoustic emissions of the gearbox to diagnose its condition. The diagnostic parameters must provide sufficient advance warning to allow for ordering of replacement parts and scheduling of downtime and maintenance.
Improved health prediction and reduced gearbox downtime
An Oxford researcher has invented a valuable new sensor for monitoring gearbox health, offering a number of benefits:
- Improved detection horizon through direct diagnosis of the gear surface and any changes due to micro pitting, macro pitting or stress cracking.
- Robust sensor technology for use in hostile and contaminated environments where optical and other sensing technologies can fail to perform reliably.
- Protection for existing investment, e.g. in vibration and water-in-oil contamination monitoring, by offering a complementary sensor technology to enhance integrated condition monitoring packages.
Who needs this solution?
Gearbox condition monitoring is used in a range of industries including power generation; marine; automotive and aerospace. The invention will be of particular relevance to applications where early fault detection is critical in increasing reliability as well as lowering operational and maintenance costs.
The underlying technology is the subject of a UK patent application. Companies interested in progressing the commercial opportunities are invited to contact the Isis Technology Transfer Manager by using the link below.