sealing for wind turbines

As Seal suppliers, we need to recognise and understand the challenges faced by the wind industry in order to identify and supply the right sealing solutions for current and future applications.

The wind-power industry continues to find new ways to increase the lifespan and reliability of wind turbines. Wind turbines not only require extreme protection against weather and mechanical forces, but also solutions that are robust and offer long life cycles. After all, no one wants to provide maintenance for an offshore system twice a week. As many engineers know, machines are only as good as their parts, and it is often the case that the smallest of components have the potential to have the largest influence on the lifespan and reliability of the entire system.

Component design often overlooks the importance of well-engineered seals. Sealing solutions prevent media from escaping or entering, and play a critical role in the successful workings of the overall system. From a basic O-ring seal to more complex multi-part sealing systems, the simple act of “keeping something in or out” is a vital aspect in the correct function of wind turbines.

The effort to implement sealing solutions that maximise service life, while also minimising costly downtime, can be influenced by a number of outside factors including environmental conditions such as extreme temperatures, ozone containments, UV rays, and salty air, not to mention surface characteristics, as well as external media and lubrication requirements. UV rays affect a component’s rubber structure, while ozone containments can cause material cracks and breakdown.

Geographic-specific conditions and the system’s surface environment can also impact seal performance and behaviour. Other factors that need to be considered include; mechanical loads, temperatures, greases and other media.

The accurate evaluation of all these factors can provide engineers the vital information to select the best solution for the type of application.

UK Seals supply a range of highly effective and easily maintained sealing solutions for wind turbines that can prolong service life. We supply a variety of specialist materials to suit the most demanding of environments. Our relationship with Spareage Sealing Solutions LLC means that we have some of the best engineers, designers, research and development and test laboratory facilities at our disposal.

UK Seals’ large diameter seals are specifically designed to meet the needs of Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) customers. Our tried and tested extensive range also caters for heavy machinery Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), without compromising on cost, delivery and specification.

For more information on sealing solutions for Wind Power, take a look at our Products section on our website, or contact our expert technical team. Call +44 (0)1388 722817 or email sales@ukseals.co.uk.