The Timken Co. is developing an R&D center for large wind-turbine gearbox systems, where it will develop ultra-large bearings and seals in systems that replicate the operating conditions of large multi-megawatt wind turbines. The developers of the $11.8-million center in Canton, Ohio, where Timken is headquartered, said this research center would be the first of this type in the U.S.
Timken is a specialty steelmaker and developer and manufacturer of friction management and power transmission products, such as bearings and seals. The company is already active in manufacturing wind-turbine systems. Recently it entered into a long-term collaborative agreement with China’s Xinjiang Goldwind Science & Technology Co., Ltd. to develop and supply advanced wind turbine components and systems.
Stark State College and the Stark County Port Authority are partners with Timken in the Wind Energy Research and Development Center, which will be a critical element of Stark State’s Emerging Technologies Airport Campus. It will employ
"We are very pleased to launch such an important project for the wind energy industry," stated Timken senior vice president of technology and quality, Douglas Smith. "The groundbreaking was the first step toward improving the performance and efficiency of the mechanical power transmission systems used in the wind energy industry. Being able to simulate real-world conditions at full-scale puts us in a unique position to rapidly assess and qualify new solutions for the industry."
The center will offer a research practicum and technical certification program for Stark State College students, so they can accumulate critical research experience, develop designs, and test large wind-turbine bearing systems.
In addition, the center will provide specialized training in the operating services required by wind turbine manufacturers and operators.