When the ANDRITZ HYDRO engineers were looking for gearboxes to power their turbines for the Scottish MeyGen project, they called on Wikov MGI a.s., a manufacturer of industrial gearboxes and gearboxes for renewable energy applications in the Czech Republic.
The Wikov MGI factory is situated in the small town of Hronov, on the Czech border with Poland. “We’re a long way from the sea,” says Wikov Managing Director Zbyněk Berger. “But we know plenty about harnessing the power of wind and water.”
Wikov MGI specializes in making custom-made planetary gearboxes – a full range of drive solutions – for wind, hydro and tidal-stream power plants all over the globe. The company’s list of recent clients reads like a who’s who of the renewable energy industry, including MCT SeaGen, TGL and ANDRITZ HYDRO, that has an order for three turbines for the MeyGen project phase 1a.
The first on-site construction stage involves the installation of four 1.5-megawatt turbines in the tidal stream. The three ANDRITZ HYDRO turbines are equipped with Wikov gearboxes.
Wikov won the turbine gearbox order because of its patented “flexible pin” with an overload stop, a unique load-sharing device created and used for the past three decades by Orbital2, a British design workshop wholly owned by Wikov. Detailed design work on the gearbox began in fall 2014.
“Most epicyclic gearboxes have a fixed pin arrangement as standard, with a maximum of three or four planets on one carrier, which limits torque capacity,” explains Michal Pohanka, project manager at Wikov.