Sustainable Energy Engineering

VerVent’s MergedGear 20 

Ready for the MMW Wind Turbines of the Future

The MergedGear 20 gearbox concept is a dedicated double-digit MW design that was designed and developed by VerVent. It is a logical step from the development of the highly innovative Megatorque 20.

The Megatorque 20 drive train concept with a very important innovation, a central carrier, makes this gearbox innovation possible. Many of the advantages of this concept also apply to MergedGear.

The name MergedGear indicates what the innovation is: gears and bearings brought close together. It seems simple and it is at first glance.

The design of the MergedGear (VerVent) gearbox is aimed at meeting the huge input torque requirements associated with the next generation of 12 – 20 MW+ wind turbines with matching rotor diameters of 215 – 270 m1. The gearbox (rotor) side has six planetary gears to handle the corresponding incoming torque levels from the 16 – 24MNm+ range.

Offshore wind energy is growing from 10 MW turbine size to 15 MW+ and beyond to more than 20 MW nominal paint capacity within a few years. Drivetrain technology is split between direct drive and gearbox driven. While direct drive eliminates the gearbox, weight considerations and the availability of rare earth materials are potential barriers to further growth. Gearbox technology has seen limitations in design, reliability and maintenance costs.

The challenge of VerVent is to create a compact gearbox design with as few rotating parts as possible and as few bearings as possible. The overall weight of the MergedGear concept is in line with the gearboxes already on the market for the same rated power.

MergedGear reduces typical gearbox concerns such as unexpected maintenance and excessive wear, while allowing the use of medium speed generator technology.

The designs of the Megatorque and MergedGear 20 concepts are proprietary intellectual property of VerVent B.V. The design, technical specifications and innovation are described in three patents. The first of these is EP 3 027 902 B1: Wind Turbine VerVent 1.0, where the innovation and main claim is the bevel gearbox. Second, there are P100349PC00: Wind Turbine VerVent 3.0 and P100381PC00: Wind Turbine Vervent 3.1.

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