The Fixturlaser shaft alignment instruments are custom made with firmware features that ensure high measurement accuracy and with mounting hardware that is ideally suited for optimal alignment of the gearbox and generator shafts in wind turbines. No matter the manufacturer, coupling or turbine type, Fixturlaser’s shaft alignment instruments make generator-to-gearbox alignment inside any nacelle easy. This safeguards reliability and optimizes the energy efficiency of the wind turbine.
The reasons have not always been obvious, but in the modern world the necessity of alignment is common knowledge. With today’s optimized machinery, alignment is a vital part in the daily maintenance work. Machines need to be online continuously with a minimum of interruptions.
A machine breakdown causes devastating loss of production. Nearly 50% of all machine breakdowns are caused by misalignment.
Shaft alignment can be performed with different tools. The easiest way is to use a ruler or a straight edge over the two coupling halves and align by eyesight. The result is not very accurate and it is very operator dependent. A better result can be achieved by the use of mechanical dial indicators. A skilled and experienced operator can obtain good and reliable measurements, but it takes time and patience.
A far easier and highly accurate way is to use laser based alignment systems. They do not require special skills and deliver accurate and reliable results.
Fixturlaser Shaft Alignment Benefits
The Fixturlaser shaft alignment instruments are characterized by several attributes and unique functions, where some are of particular benefit for the wind power industry, such as:
The functions that we would specifically like to mention are:
The Machine Defined Data function allows the user to create configuration templates for all kinds of manufacturing models, where data like distances, target values, and tolerances can be saved. This function is particularly useful for service organizations that maintain several turbine models.
The Specific Machine Data function allows for preloading the shaft alignment instruments with predefined machine configuration templates, where data such as distances, target values, and tolerances can be saved. These templates are not editable and safeguard a homogenous alignment configuration of a manufacturer’s different models.
Fixturlaser Wind Power Fixture Solutions
We have a wide range of fixture applications. The fixtures have a solid design and are easy to mount. While originally designed for a specific manufacturer’s turbine, the fixtures will fit on most wind power turbines in the market place.
The fixtures come together with the display unit and other items in cases that are customized for each fixture model, i.e. everything in one case.
1. A Fixturlaser fixture for alignment of fixed rotors without coupling and mounted on the gearbox
flange that will fit on most Vestas turbines.
2. Fixture for measuring without coupling and is mounted on the generator flange that will fit on most Vestas turbines.
3. Fixture mounted on generator flange that will fit on most Siemens turbines.
4. Fixture mounted on brake disc with magnet base that will fit on most Siemens turbines.
5. Fixture pair for mounted coupling that will fit on most Vestas turbines.
6. Fixture mounted on brake disc with thin magnetic brackets that will fit on most GE turbines.
Definition of misalignment:
Misalignment is the deviation of relative shaft position from collinear axis of rotation when equipment is running at normal operating conditions.
How is misalignment recognized?
There are several symptoms indicating misalignment. By keeping your eyes open you can find them without any special equipment.
Misalignment effects on bearings and seals
The bearings operating life span is directly affected by the forces it is exposed to. The slightest misalignment can generate excessive forces to the bearings and seals. A misaligned machine causes stress to both bearings and shafts.
As an effect of this the seals open up, allowing lubrication leakage and contamination to enter. All together the bearings lifetime is dramatically shortened.
Misalignment and power consumption
Misalignment has a direct impact on the power consumption. Documented cases have shown savings ranging from 2 to 17%. The thermogram below shows two different couplings and the amount of heat generated due to misalignment.
Effects of base conditions and thermal variations
Even if you align your machines properly there is a risk that they break due to misalignment. If the foundation where the machine is mounted is warped you may have a soft foot condition, i.e. one of the machine feet has a poor contact with the floor. It is of major importance that this is corrected before performing the alignment.
If the alignment is performed when the machines are cold, and no compensation for thermal growth is considered, the machines will probably be running severely misaligned at running temperature.
Differences in temperature can cause severe misalignment due to the fact that machine casings and pipes expand with raised or lowered temperature.