Rotational moulding creates rounded organic shapes for optimal airflow
For cooling systems in wind turbines, a good performance is of eminent importance. You can think of the cooling of the transformer, the electronics and the air treatment of the entire nacelle. Typical rotationally moulded applications are air ducts, fan housings and filter housings. These functions are often combined in one rotational moulding product. For an optimal and unobstructed air flow an organic design with rounded corners is necessary. This cannot be achieved with the traditional steel angular air ducts. Sharp corners and transitions cause turbulence in the air flow and the cooling performance deteriorates. It is therefore not surprising that the leading manufacturers of cooling systems for wind turbines have chosen to develop air ducts and housings for cooling systems together with Rotovia.
Designed for a lifespan of at least 20 years
Wind turbines actually are unmanned factories that have to produce power 24/7, without interruption. These turbines are also often located in places that are difficult to reach. At sea, for example. That is why components used in wind turbines must last a long time and function fault-free. Rotomoulded polyethylene air ducts are ideally suited for this application. The material is virtually stress-free and indestructible, due to its toughness. It is resistant to impact load and vibrations, and extremely low temperatures down to -40 degrees Celsius. In addition, rotationally moulded polyethylene has a very good chemical resistance. It can withstand salt water very well (important for applications at sea) and it is ozone resistant (ozone is released during power generation). It is also very resistant to oils and greases.
Unprecedented design possibilities
The rotational moulding process is suitable for making hollow or double-walled products from approximately 10 cm3 to a volume of approximately 10,000 litres (products with a diagonal of approximately 5 metres). No pressure is used during the rotational moulding process, which means that very large moulds can be made at relatively low costs. A mould does not necessarily have to be two-part, but can consist of several parts, which means that very complex products can be designed, which are cast in one piece, whereby the available space in the nacelle of the wind turbine is optimally used. In addition, metal threaded inserts can be placed in the mould in advance. They are then cast along, so that threaded fasteners are solid in the product. Rotovia has several processing robots so that holes and recesses can be milled.
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