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Romax Technology has signed a contract with the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to perform a major redesign of the research gearbox for the dynamometer testing facility at NREL’s National Wind Technology Center (NWTC).

The gearbox will be redesigned by this summer and rebuilding will commence later in 2012. Romax will be supported with engineering and drafting services by Powertrain Engineers Inc. In an effort to document and assess the design process, NREL previously completed a redesign/rebuild of two heavily used gearboxes that subsequently underwent in-field operation and dynamometer validation testing.  With the help of industry and academic partners, NREL has highlighted significant findings to reduce the number of gearbox failures seen by the wind turbine industry. The redesign has the primary goal of allowing for the exploration of the effect of design details on the loads and deflections within the gearbox and a secondary goal of improving the design from the previous configuration.  Romax has developed a detailed drivetrain engineering model of the current gearbox and performed extensive validation of the model versus a wealth of test data generated so far by the program.
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