The VECO-Drive is an electric superimposing gear and combines a mechanical planetary gear with frequency-controlled servo motors.
Voith says the electrical superimposing gear is “the most efficient way to make speed variable. Servo motors are used to drive a planetary gear and since they only need a small part of rated power, an overall component efficiency of more than 97 per cent is reached. This saves valuable energy and reduces operating expenditures every day.”
The VECO-Drive is installed between a constant speed motor and a variable speed compressor or pump. With the new VECO-Drive, Voith says it is combining “the reliability of mechanical gears with the outstanding productivity of low voltage VFDs”.
Since additional power is supplied to the drive train, a smaller main motor can be used. This saves capital expenditures and also the servo motor can be used as a starter to protect the electric grid from high in-rush currents.
For the functional demonstration of the VECO-Drive, a prototype system was built and tested in Voith’s base in Crailsheim, Germany, last year. Voith engineers designed the system for compressor and pump applications with a maximum output speed of 15,000 rpm, maximum output power of 15 MW and a speed adjustment range from 50 to 100 per cent.
In a statement, Voith said: “Compared to a typical full-scale medium voltage VFD train with a step-up gearbox, the measured system efficiency of a VECO-Drive is about two per cent higher over the whole speed range. Thus, the VECO-Drive system reduces annual energy consumption by more than 2,000 MWh compared to a comparable VFD system. With a typical energy cost of €50/MWh, these energy savings result in cost reductions of more than €100,000 per year.”
Voith Turbo will be showcasing the VECO-Drive along with a host of other technologies at POWER-GEN Europe in Cologne, which runs from June 27-29. Voith Turbo will be a Booth F17.