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Igus has revealed how its range of bearings is contributing to the development and success of the Antaris 2.5 small wind turbine from Heyde Windtechnik.

The Antaris 2.5 has a nominal output of 2.5kW for battery charging, can be used for wind heating as a supplement to solar heating, and to feed power into the home electricity system.

In good wind conditions, it is possible to practically halve energy costs for a single family home.

In addition to this, there are many applications for small wind turbines in developing countries.

Michael Heyde, company founder and managing director at Heyde Windtechnik, said: ‘I wanted to develop a system that is robust, can withstand storms, is free from maintenance, and, especially, is quiet.

‘This is especially important near residential areas, where other systems could not fulfil all these conditions.

‘Naturally it should also be able to withstand all climatic conditions – from Greenland to the Sahara – and work safely even in major storms like Kyrill, which hit Germany in 2006.’ In order to achieve this safety in storms, a special mechanism was designed: the entire generator of the Antaris 2.5 system tips with the rotor upwards like a helicopter.

This greatly reduces the surface the wind can hit and restricts output.

The tip bearings of the rotor were selected from the range of Igus plain plastic bearings.

Also, the unit uses flange bearings from the Igubal self-aligning range.

Designers can select from a complete range of self-aligning Igubal bearings: rod ends, clevis joints, flange, spherical, and pedestal plain bearings.

Self-aligning bearings are easy to fit, adjust to any angular movement, and can in many cases replace special housings.

For standard plain bearings there is a spherical ball made of Iglidur W300, a material that gives low friction values in dry operation and has a low stick-slip tendency, especially important at low loads and for very slow movements.

The housing is made of Igumid G, an impact resistant polymer with long fibre reinforcement.

Igubal products work without problems even under difficult conditions and have good corrosion resistance allowing use in damp or wet environments.

The Igubal range can be used at temperatures ranging from -30C to +80C and does not need a seal in the case of extreme dirt contamination – regardless of whether it is fine dust or coarse particles.

The bearings are used technically dry and have good vibration-damping characteristics in addition to being insensitive to dirt.

The lightweight and compact bearings also save costs in two ways: they are inexpensive to purchase and need no maintenance, saving both installation and maintenance costs.

This final point was the deciding factor for their use in the Antaris 2.5 small wind turbine.

All Iglidur plain bearings consist of high-performance polymers, further improved through the use of precisely adjusted reinforcement materials and solid lubricants.

The traditional approach using polymer-coated steel can suffer extreme failure due to the sliding layer migrating under heavy loads, edge pressure or vibration.

The Igus plain bearings – Iglidur – do not suffer from this as the solid lubricants are mixed homogenously throughout the wall thickness, therefore the lubricant cannot be pushed out of the way when the shaft starts to move.

The individual components of the bearing material are also adjusted to each application, resulting in a range of materials customised perfectly for each application.

The positive characteristics of the Igubal flange bearings made the decision easy for Heyde to use polymer bearings.

Igus

Igus is the largest producer of reinforced plastic energy chains and injection-moulded polymer bearings. The range of polymer bearings includes Iglidur plain, Igubal spherical and Drylin linear bearings. They offer an excellent price-to-life relationship and are developed under the toughest conditions. They are oil, maintenance and lubrication free, low wear, resistant to dirt and dust, corrosion free and simple to fit. Igus also has the data to precisely predict the lifetime of these bearings within a specific application.

Igus is the largest producer of reinforced plastic energy chains and injection-moulded polymer bearings. The range of polymer bearings includes Iglidur plain, Igubal spherical and Drylin linear bearings. They offer an excellent price-to-life relationship and are developed under the toughest conditions. They are oil, maintenance and lubrication free, low wear, resistant to dirt and dust, corrosion free and simple to fit. Igus also has the data to precisely predict the lifetime of these bearings within a specific application.

Energy chains are the umbilical cord of modern machines. They minimise downtime and protect, support and extend the service life of cables and hoses. The broad range incorporates more than 30,000 innovative, low-cost products. From the smallest ‘micro’ chain to the largest chain in the world, the E4.350, Igus energy chains are capable of long and short travel distances at high speeds in all axes.

Igus also has its own cable series, Chainflex, specially designed with energy chains in mind. They are highly flexible cables, offering a long service life and very small bending radii. A wide range is available, from small signal cables to large power cables, high-speed data cables and glass fibre-optic cables.

The company’s energy chains and Chainlflex cables can be delivered as a fully harnessed and pre-assembled Readychain system, cutting purchasing, warehousing and installation costs.

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