Renewable energy manufacturing
As the saying goes “we did not inherit the earth from our ancestors but we borrowed it from our future children” and “a healthy environment is synonymous to a livable planet and a strong economy ”. All the world leaders, celebrities, business and nongovernmental organizations are united in fostering the development and use of renewable energy.
Wind and water are naturally occurring elements with vast amount of untapped energy. .
Manufacture of water turbines and subsequent repair
Water wheels have long been used to generate electricity from rivers. The most common types include the Pelton, Francis, and Kaplan turbines. Their use depends on the height (head) and volume of the liquid. Their main parts include a high strength, anti corrosion rotating wheels and the outside casing that directs the water.
All these machines have many cylindrical parts such as shafts, axle flywheels, fastening holes and other parts. The outer casings of these machines also require a huge cylindrical bore to house the wheel.
Heavy duty lathe machines are used to face and turn materials to exact diameter and length. They also perform operations such as vertical and horizontal drilling, boring, tapering, threading bolts and fasteners, knurling and internal boring.
Use of extra heavy duty lathe
Producing these wheels from large shaft and casting is impossible without extra heavy duty lathes. To prevent rusting, erosion by river particles and corrosion by chemicals in rivers, these turbines must be made from extra high strength materials such through hardened steel, nitrided steel and carburized iron. These materials are difficult to machine and require special extra heavy duty all geared lathes.
These all geared type machine a wide range of heavy shafts and have good surface finish. They have sturdy high strength bed machined to absolute flatness. Their tail stock and tool post are specially designed for accurate positioning and tooling.
For big hydroelectric generation, very huge lathes are required. These are custom made and are able to turn, face and bore wheels and shafts.
Advanced wind turbine production
Wind turbines contain a three large blades, low and high speed shafts, yaw drives, nacelle, a spindle and gear box.
Machining of shafts, nacelle spindle, hub and other parts require the use of modern precision lathes. These parts must highly reliable and these plants operate for 20 years with minimal repairs. Geared lathes , CNC and turret types are specifically suited for their production.
Trends in the renewable energy sector production
Hydroelectric power has a gradual but progressive growth at a local and international level. With most sites for large HEP be fully exploited; medium, small, mini and micro hydro plants are being installed. These are not labor and capital intensive and require less specialized machine tools.
Off shore and inland wind farms are being installed in areas with good wind profiles and their global utilization shows a stable rise from 1990. Exploitation at low scale is limited to remote villages.