In the wind industry, moving parts are the hallmark of a well-oiled machine. Turbines should always have their blades rotating, which equates to electricity generation. These moving parts aren’t all made from a single material, however.
Each part connects into the adjacent one. It’s necessary to use couplings throughout a turbine’s design. Elastomeric couplings are commonplace in the wind industry. They allow energy to flow from one area to another. Engineers need to know the power volumes moving through these couplings.
Get to know how you can calculate torque from RPM so that any wind design can operate with peak production levels.
Why is Torque Important?
Before you calculate any numerical values, it’s important to ask: what is torque? This term refers to the energy transmitted when a component twists or rotates. Turbines rotate almost nonstop in the wind. It’s the job of the couplings to ensure that the energy isn’t lost as it moves in a helical pattern.
Engineers must know the torque for each coupling because heat naturally occurs at this location. Elastomeric couplings can handle a certain amount of heat, but when they pass a threshold, decline occurs. Improper torque also leads to loss of energy. When it comes to producing reliable electricity, turbines must be designed with optimal efficiency in mind.
Breaking Down the Numbers
To calculate torque from RPM, use this formula:
- Torque = (Motor Horsepower) x 63025 x Service Factor / RPM
What is RPM in this case? The RPM differs between each motor used with the coupling. Look at the manufacturer’s specifications for the motor. Use the RPM value to figure out the torque. The motor and couplings must be matched in order to design a smooth transfer of power.
You might see other individuals using alternative formulas for their calculations. They aren’t necessarily wrong, but you’re more concerned with torque than any other value. This calculation is as accurate as you can be.
Understanding Elastomeric Coupling’s Main Benefit
One of the main reasons why engineers appreciate elastomeric coupling for their torque-RPM calculations is the lack of lubrication. The material itself is smooth enough to allow for freedom of movement. Lubricating machinery is a job that’s both time consuming and labor intensive.
In the case of wind turbines, engineers strive for parts that don’t have lubrication needs. The parts are typically far from reach, including assemblies several hundred feet up in the air. Technicians may not even be in the area on a regular basis. For these reasons, elastomeric couplings and proper torque values are paramount to turbine success.
Fighting Vibrations and Misalignment
If you place two metal or glasses pieces together, any movement between the two items will produce vibrations and damage. Elastomeric couplings have some flexibility to their shape. They’re able to transfer torque without passing on damaging vibrations.
Misalignment is also a threat to the system if flexibility isn’t part of the design. High-intensity torque values may be in play. Elastomeric couplings fight off misalignment, which leaves the system free to operate with minimal maintenance.
The Wear Factor
When engineers ask “what is torque?” in their calculations, they’re also concerned about physical wear. Elastomeric couplings are tough, but they aren’t immune to decline. They will break down, which causes rotational issues in the shaft.
This wear factor doesn’t occur for many months or years, depending on the turbine’s operational details. The engineers want the elastomeric material to wear down so that the metal parts remain intact. It’s more costly when metal parts must be replaced in comparison to elastomeric components.
If you’re still asking “what is RPM?” when it comes to your machinery, contact Kurz today. We can look over designs and explain the details so that it all makes sense. Renewable energy will continue to improve with the latest technology. Be aware of the science behind electrical production because it does make a huge difference at the end of the day.