Challenging sealing technology requirements

EagleBurgmann has decades' worth of experience in mechanical seals for marine applications (e.g. for different types of thruster drives for ships). Together with robust, versatilely deployable and proven products, this know-how enabled us to supply the respectively correct sealing solution for new applications in this innovative and revolutionary energy sector.

The turbine shafts are sealed at the passage through the housing to the propeller as the seawater may not penetrate the bearing. Seawater-resistant materials and tolerance of solids in water are therefore a requirement. Also, the seals are often subjected to higher pressures since the installations are lowered to depths of over 30 m (100 ft).

The low speeds of the current turbines present a challenge to the mechanical seals, because contrary to e.g. the sealing of high-speed machines such as pumps, there is practically no lifting of the sealing surfaces which can cause a lack of lubrication at the sliding faces. In addition, the regularly occurring reverse current flow during operation and its associated change of rotational direction of the turbine shaft are also a great load for the seals.

The recovery and servicing of marine current turbines is complicated and expensive. As a result, long operating periods and an MTBS (Mean Time Between Service) of over 5 years are required. The seal system must be of an accordingly robust, non-wearing and reliable design.

Since there are different concepts and installation parameters of current turbines depending on the manufacturers, customer-specific requirements must be met with e.g. constructive adaptations.

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EagleBurgmann sealing solutions for innovative energy production

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