Wind-turbine drivetrains undergo severe transient loading during start-ups, shut-downs, emergency stops, and during grid connections. Load cases that result in torque reversals may be particularly damaging to bearings, as rollers may be skidding during the sudden relocation of the loaded zone. Seals and lubrication systems must work reliably over a wide temperature variation to prevent the ingress of dirt and moisture and perform effectively at all rotational speeds in the gearbox. Many wind-turbine gearboxes have also suffered from fundamental design issues such as ineffective interference fits that result in unintended motion and wear, ineffectiveness of internal lubrication paths and problems with sealing. Improving the resistance of future gearbox designs to all these issues is a key to the future cost of energy generated by wind turbines.
It can’t be easy starting a new car company let alone bringing back an old one that ended almost as soon as it began. The original DeLorean Motor Company (DMC) headed by John DeLorean went spectacularly bankrupt in 1982 due to issues of quality among other things. Yet DeLorean once said, “It’s inevitable that the company come back,” and despite many attempts by various parties to revive the company over the years, DMC is now back to the future of automobiles deep in the heart of Texas.