ZF introduces its SHIFT series – the first of a new kind

Speeding the transition to renewable energy / A modular gearbox platform offering high flexibility

Image: ZFImage: ZF

In response to today’s wind market revolution, with efforts to reduce subsidy costs and spur efficient innovation into the future, ZF has
developed a new kind of wind gearbox − a highly scalable platform, supporting new turbine designs that will innovate our future energy

SHIFT − a modular gearbox platform offering high flexibility

As wind turbine manufacturers search for high flexibility for their new generation turbine developments, ZF has developed a new concept, helping customers reduce the cost of wind energy, and accelerating the shift towards the future. The concept is called ‘SHIFT’ − A paradigm shift to a modular platform that facilitates faster steps towards future wind turbine designs:

  • at lower cost
  • with reduced time-to-market
  • and with more potential for the future than initially required

This modular platform offers high flexibility in adapting wind turbine designs to changing market requirements. Reducing time-to-market and life-cycle costs “ZF has bundled the experience in high-torque applications and reliable wind gearbox technology to create a new wind gearbox platform to cover the dynamics of the wind market, safeguard specific customer requirements, and reduce time-to-market significantly,” explains Jan Willem Ruinemans, Head of ZF Wind Power Business Unit.

The modular platform designs help turbine manufacturers reduce business uncertainties and life-cycle costs by:

  • Allowing maximum use of the latest technological developments and optimized designs, processes and supply chain to scale power density, while reducing Cost of Energy.
  • Enabling platform upgrades of the mechanical torque up to 40%, while covering a broad range of gearbox-generator combinations in terms of gearbox ratios. With a first series of the new platform released, ZF is developing an even more powerful model beyond current market requirements.
  • Keeping the gear unit outer dimensions identical across the full torque range − eliminating the need for major drive-train/nacelle
  • re-designs during the turbine platform lifetime.

In brief, using standardized building blocks inside the gearbox leverages building blocks simplifies servicing and reduces maintenance costs, while offering potential for future turbine power upgrades of the installed base. ZF’s unique collaborative approach on data insights, the company is taking a leading position on product availability and launching the merge of ground-breaking technology and know-how to monitor and predict wind gearbox performance. Thanks to a cloud based eco-system, connected gearboxes can automatically sense the best way to operate, optimize energy generation and improve turbine economics for any wind site conditions.

ZF Wind Power
Kris Adriaenssen
Modular gear box, transition, renewable energy

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