The Timken Company, a 107-year-old global maker of highly engineered bearings and alloy steel headquartered in Canton, Ohio, is making great strides to develop new energy-efficient applications for its bearings. One of the solutions: harness the wind.
Whenever something is moved, it requires energy — whether it is a person’s own physical exertion or energy that is generated from a machine. If a machine is being used to move something, chances are it contains an anti-friction bearing.
When two or more components come in contact with each other, the friction between them causes a force that slows them down, also slowing down the main object being moved, like a bicycle or a car.
That friction requires more energy to be consumed. But, if the two surfaces can roll over each other, the friction is greatly reduced, and the amount of energy required to move an object is also reduced.
The Timken Company is using its extensive knowledge of friction and power transmission to help leading U.S. and European wind turbine manufacturers and gearbox suppliers create new energy-efficient designs to improve the reliability and efficiency of wind power. Bearing and bearing packages are used in the gearbox and main motor support of wind turbines.
Timken’s anti-friction bearings do just that — reduce friction. And anytime friction is reduced, energy is conserved.