The Power of Connection
Lovejoy partners with turbine manufacturers to drive greater efficiency
Bearing leader Timken made a thoughtfully vetted connection in 2016 when it acquired Lovejoy, a manufacturer of premium couplings and universal joints. Both companies share 100+-year legacies of technical leadership in making industrial equipment operate more efficiently and reliably.
Today, Lovejoy is one of several Timken brands comprising a broad power transmission portfolio that delivers value across major industries — including wind energy.
As wind turbines grow larger and more complex, Timken power transmission solutions help designers improve equipment performance and make wind energy more economically viable. Lovejoy is working with top turbine manufacturers to drive greater efficiency in their drivetrains.
Lance Kelly, president at Lovejoy and a 14-year Timken veteran, said Lovejoy’s technical collaboration with turbine designers is a natural extension of the work Timken does integrating high-performance bearings into turbine gear drives and main shafts.
“It’s a great example of the synergies equipment designers get with Timken,” Kelly said. “We’re a single partner that can address a variety of technical challenges through a turbine’s long design cycle.”
“It’s a great example of the synergies equipment designers get with Timken. We’re a single partner that can address a variety of technical challenges through a turbine’s long design cycle.” ”
President, Lovejoy by Timken
- Wear-resistant SRB
- TDI tapered bearing upgrade
- Lubrication systems
- Lovejoy high-speed couplings
- Bearing upgrades
- H&N services
- H&N rebuilds
- Insulated bearings
Custom wind couplings for more reliable power
Couplings perform two tasks: they connect shafts together to transmit loads and manage misalignment to protect the system, prolonging drivetrain life. In wind turbines, they are used to connect gearbox output shafts with drive generators.
Lovejoy has developed custom couplings to support new onshore wind turbines produced by a leading global turbine manufacturer. The lightweight couplings manage high-static loads during installation and handle large dynamic loads during high-wind events. They also have electrical isolation capabilities to prevent harmful electric currents from being conducted through the coupling itself.
According to Matt Baggett, product manager, what differentiates Lovejoy is its cross-functional, collaborative approach to research and development and intensive technical consultation with customers.
“Lovejoy is partnering closely with turbine manufacturers on technical specifications and revisions to create a customized solution for the application,” Baggett said. “This next-generation coupling is designed to out-perform off-the-shelf components.”
Behind the scenes, Lovejoy worked with Timken research and development (R&D) in the U.S. and India on application modeling and design methodology.
Always innovating, Lovejoy is now working with another Timken business — PT Tech — to develop a wind coupling with an integrated torque limiter that helps protect the system from mechanical overload. This translates to more reliable power for users due to fewer coupling failures from excessive torque in the system — a common challenge in wind applications where variable speed and load conditions are present.
With even larger turbines being developed for future onshore and offshore applications, Lovejoy expects its customizable, integrated couplings to set a new performance baseline as manufacturers evolve their unique drivetrain setups.
Supporting end-to-end sustainability
Like its wind bearing technology, Timken advancements in power transmission have a broad impact on wind energy sustainability both as a business and as a renewable power source.
In addition to working with turbine manufacturers on more sustainable designs, Timken provides the aftermarket with efficiency-boosting solutions ranging from bearings to couplings to automatic lubrication systems.
“Wind farm operators want sustainable operations that are reliably up and running with maximum uptime,” Kelly said. “We help ensure those outcomes by delivering designs that meet or exceed turbine builders’ specifications for original equipment before it ever reaches the operator.”
“Everything we do from a technical standpoint is about improving the efficiency and reliability of the application,” Kelly continued. “When we improve productivity for wind turbine developers, we’re creating value for customers and end users.”
Learn more about how Timken engineers created main shaft bearings for the world’s most powerful wind turbine.
Last Updated: 2022/03/7