Antaris 2.5 wind turbine uses igubal self-aligning bearings

The Antaris 2.5 small wind turbine benefits from Igus igubal self-aligning spherical bearings.

Only a few years ago small wind turbines were manufactured using simple mechanical design and control technology. Today this has evolved into increasingly high-tech products that compare well with larger systems. Currently small wind turbines are used mostly for supplying power to houses, geographical measuring stations or on boats or caravans. Experts predict a prosperous future for wind energy in electricity production in developing countries. The Antaris 2.5 small wind turbine is one such model with a promising future, profiting both technically and economically from Igus polymer plain bearings.

Heyde Windtechnik, located in Dippoldiswalde, Germany, was founded in 2001 and is dedicated, among other things, to the production of rotor blades and accessories for small wind turbines. In addition, the company markets the Antaris 2.5 as a complete system with a nominal output of 2.5kW. It is suitable for battery charging and can be used for wind heating as a supplement to solar heating, and to feed power into the home electricity system. It is claimed that, in good wind conditions, it is possible to almost halve the energy costs for a family home. In addition to this, there are many applications for small wind turbines in developing countries.

Company founder and Managing Director Michael Heyde, who designed the Antaris 2.5, says: "I wanted to develop a system that is robust, can withstand storms, is free from maintenance and, especially, is quiet. This is especially important near residential areas, where other systems could not fulfil all these conditions. Naturally it should also be able to withstand all climatic conditions - from Greenland to the Sahara - and work safely even in major storms like Kyrill, which hit Germany in 2006."

Tilt mechanism

In order to achieve this safety in storms, a special mechanism was designed to tilt the entire generator upwards like a helicopter. This greatly reduces the surface area exposed to the wind and restricts output. The tip bearings of the rotor were selected from the Igus range of plain plastic bearings, and the unit also uses flange bearings from the igubal self-aligning range.

Designers can select from a complete range of igubal self-aligning bearings: rod ends, clevis joints, flange, spherical and pedestal plain bearings. Self-aligning bearings are easy to fit, adjust to any angular movement and can, in many cases, replace special housings. For standard plain bearings there is a spherical ball made of iglidur W300, a material that gives very low friction values in dry operation and has very low stick-slip, which is very important at low loads and for slow movements. The housing is made of igumid G, an impact-resistant polymer with long fibre reinforcement.

Igubal products work without problems even under difficult conditions and have excellent corrosion resistance, enabling them to be used in damp or wet environments. The igubal range can be used at temperatures ranging from -30 to +80degC and do not even need seals to protect against extreme dirt contamination - regardless of whether it is fine dust or coarse particles. The bearings are used technically dry and have very good vibration damping characteristics. The lightweight and compact bearings also save costs in two ways: they are inexpensive to purchase and need no maintenance. This final point was crucial for their use in the Antaris 2.5.

The secret to the success of Igus products in contrast to traditional bearings, which have a hard shell with a soft coating, is that all iglidur plain bearings consist of high-performance polymers, further improved through the use of precisely adjusted reinforcement materials and solid lubricants. The traditional approach using polymer-coated steel can fail due to the sliding layer migrating under heavy loads, edge pressure or vibration. The Igus plain bearings, made from iglidur, do not suffer from this, as the solid lubricants are mixed homogeneously throughout the wall thickness, therefore the lubricant cannot be pushed out of the way when the shaft starts to move.

Custom compositions

Bearing material composition is also adjusted to each application, resulting in a range of customised materials. Igus engineers develop more than 100 polymer compounds every year, testing them in over 3500 trials, and have built up a comprehensive database of the tribological characteristics of the polymer over many years - knowledge that benefits customers in the long run. In order to find the right bearing for every application, users can access the igubal expert system. Here it is possible to select from various types of loads - radial/axial as well as static, cyclic, and dynamic. The expert system uses this data, together with other information, to calculate the bearing wear and the theoretical lifespan.

The positive characteristics of the igubal flange bearings made the decision easy for Michael Heyde to use polymer bearings: "There are mass-produced flange bearings made of metal, but these often need to be lubricated, because they corrode, or are too expensive for small wind turbines. I have not been able to find any comparable bearing to the maintenance-free, corrosion-resistant and economical igubal bearings that has the right mix of characteristics." In addition, they are easy to fit and are UV-resistant. According to Heyde, the Igus bearings ensure the tipping function operates correctly even in extreme storms with wind speeds in excess of 150km/h.

Follow the link for more information about igubal self-aligning spherical bearings.

igus (UK) Ltd

51A Caswell Road
Brackmills
Northampton
NN4 7PW
UNITED KINGDOM

+44 (0)1604 677240

sales@igus.co.uk

www.igus.co.uk

More applications
2 days ago
Contrinex celebrates its 50th anniversary
Fifty years ago this week, Contrinex was founded by Peter Heimlicher in Switzerland. What began as a one-man operation, is now a technology-leading, innovative global company, serving over 60 countries and employing more than 500 people worldwide, and is led by Peter’s daughter, CEO Annette Heimlicher.
2 days ago
A full programme to inspire, inform and entertain
Manufacturing and Engineering Week (Birmingham NEC, 8-9 June) will be a celebration of British engineering, a two-day festival of innovation that will showcase the very best that UK industry has to offer, while also providing knowledge, inspiration and a touch of entertainment.
2 days ago
Maxon’s Drive Technology Insight day is a great success
11th May 2022 saw Maxon’s first Drive Technology Insight day bring together the engineering community in the UK and Ireland.
3 days ago
Nord Drivesystems exhibits at ‘all about automation’ 2022
On 29 and 30 June 2022, Nord Drivesystems will present the DuoDrive geared motor, the energy-efficient IE5+ synchronous motor, the new decentralised NORDAC ON frequency inverter and the NORDAC PRO SK 500P control cabinet inverter, at ‘all about automation’.
3 days ago
TÜV Süd certifies Pilz product development as safe and secure
TÜV Süd has certified the development processes of Pilz in accordance with the international security standard IEC 62443-4-1. This addition to the existing functional safety management certification promises Pilz customers double security from now on.
3 days ago
Enclosures provide safety and ease of use for laser interlocks
Laser Support Services, which designs interlock systems, works with Spelsberg UK as its enclosure partner, based on the quality and flexibility of the housings.
4 days ago
Camozzi launches new UK short form catalogue
Camozzi Automation has launched its new UK short form catalogue, available both online and in hard copy format.
5 days ago
NSK roller guides increase uptime of blow moulding machines
A manufacturer of PET (polyethylene terephthalate) bottles frequently had to replace the linear guides on its blow moulding machines. However, after switching to NSK’s RA series roller guides, there have been no failures for over a year, producing annual cost savings in maintenance, spare parts and downtime of €60,000.
5 days ago
Design your future at Design Engineering Expo 2022
With innovation at its core, Design Engineering Expo 2022 is the perfect place for forward thinking design engineering professionals to gain insight into new technologies, learn how to improve efficiencies and gain inspiration for ideas they can implement into their workplace, to put them ahead of their competitors and form part of their future strategy.
5 days ago
Tray handling system gently handles medical-use glass cartridges
Gerresheimer Medical Systems Division produces over one billion high quality, medical grade, glass cartridges every year and central to its new post-production inspection and packaging system is the IEF Werner varioSTACK CF (Clean Factory) tray palletiser.

Login / Sign up