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Centa Transmissions can create bespoke powertrain designs for wind, wave, tidal and solar power systems.

The company is currently working with various scientific, marine, manufacturing and university partners in the UK, western Europe and Scandinavia, producing systems that generate electricity from the natural power of the sea.

This production of energy from the tides is one of Centa’s active projects and just one element of its Tidal and Wave portfolio.

Centa applications have helped to create an underwater tidal power generation plant that combines many of its products in the design.

Planetary gearboxes, Cyclo precision gears and special bevel gearboxes combine with electro-magnetic clutches, electrically insulating Centalink shafts, Sibre disc brakes, specially designed Centa Freewheels and electromagnetic clutches, to create a turnkey solution.

‘We start with the required design and then integrate the most suitable Centa products until we arrive at the optimum solution,’ said Michael Sykes, Centa’s gears division manager.

Centa’s Freewheels are designed to stop the plant from reversing its rotation as the tides change direction.

As well as wave technology, Centa also offers wind power solutions.

Centadisc-C, a very strong yet lightweight composite shaft that is predominantly used in ships and boats, has been employed in wind turbines.

This is normally employed to connect the turbine speed-increasing gearbox and the generator, but can also be installed between the turbine blade nacelle and the speed-increasing gearbox.

Special three-way spiral bevel gears are used for pitch actuation, which ensures that the turbines point into the wind at all times for maximum benefit.

A similar gear combination is also used in wave power to ensure that the plant is maximising tidal direction, ebb and flow.

Centa’s Sibre disc brakes are also used extensively on wind turbine applications.

The Centadisc-C is mainly used in applications that demand long-span shaft drives with reliable, bearing-free, low-maintenance operation.

However, it has also been used in deep-well water extraction and has proved to be a highly versatile resolution to any substantial drive problem, according to Centa.

Centa’s flexible couplings handle simultaneous combinations of angular and radial misalignment and axial ‘end float’, while absorbing high levels of torsional stress, resulting from driving unit vibration or momentary shock loads; to increase drive performance and reduce maintenance costs and plant downtime.

Lightweight carbon-fibre drive shafts are regularly specified in a variety of markets, allowing long-span drive configurations to give up to 70 per cent weight saving over conventional metal shafts and reducing the need for intermediate support bearings.

One further example where Centa has developed an environmentally friendly solution is in public transport.

Here, Centa has worked with various suppliers to devise independent hybrid drives that enable buses to switch from diesel engine to non-polluting electric motors when moving within a city-centre environment.

Centa couplings are currently in use worldwide in industrial plant, generators, pumps, compressors, marine propulsion, rail traction, construction machinery and mechanical handling, all manufactured under ISO9001 and meeting the rigorous requirements of international classification societies.

Centa Transmissions

Founded in 1979, Centa Transmissions, is a specialist in the design, specification and manufacture of mechanical power transmissions for all types of industrial, plant and marine applications. Part of international group Centa Antriebe Kirschey, Centa supplies flexible couplings, gears, gearboxes, brakes and bespoke engineered drives to any specification and for any application.

Today, Centa is at the forefront of drive technology, having solved countless drive problems for international and UK manufacturing businesses. Centa’s reputation is built on the ability to solve problems, often specifying a combination of products that, as well as couplings, include precision gears, gearboxes, electromagnetic clutches and speed reducers. Centa has also developed their highly successful carbon fibre composite shafts for ships and boats and these are capable of covering spans of 10 metres without support.

Centa is also heavily involved in the renewable energy sector, working with research associations and specialist manufacturers to create mechanical transmission drives for systems in wind, wave, tidal and solar energy. With long-time involvement in the power generation sector, Centa is ideally placed to ensure that these environmentally friendly systems benefit from reliable and trouble-free drives, often submerged or in hard to reach locations that demand robust, totally sealed, maintenance-free operation.

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