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Tests show gearbox efficiency ratings are out by up to 25%

03 February, 2016

As an example of how their findings could be applied, the Belgians cite the example of a 200Nm, 20rpm conveyor belt drive. Using a four-pole 0.75kW motor with an efficiency of 72% to drive the conveyor via a helical worm gear with a ratio of 72.5 and an efficiency of 69%, the system efficiency would be 50%. If an eight-pole 0.55kW motor with an efficiency of 66% was used instead, driving the belt via a helical-worm gearbox with a ratio of 37.5 and an efficiency of 85%, the system efficiency would be 56% – an increase of 6%.

Two of the Belgian researchers with their 15kW gearbox test rig

The Belgian researchers conclude by suggesting that to obtain the highest possible efficiency, users should choose a bevel gearbox with as low a ratio as possible – opting for an inline configuration, if possible.

The University of Ghent research team consisted of Steve Dereyne, Pieter Defreyne, Elewijn Algoet, Stijn Derammelaere and Kurt Stockman. They are currently building a more powerful gearbox test rig, rated at 150kW, 45kNm.

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