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Home > What's New > Medupi order for air cooled condenser fan drives awarded to Hansen Transmissions
  • Medupi order for air cooled condenser fan drives awarded to Hansen Transmissions2009-03-06
  • Hansen Transmissions South Africa, local subsidiary of the leading industrial gearbox manufacturer Hansen Transmissions International based in Belgium, was awarded the tender to manufacture and supply their M4ACC gearbox for the Medupi fan drives by GEA Aircooled Systems (Pty) Limited. The order is for 384 PVPEX2 units with delivery spread over three years commencing in January 2009. The order, valued at more than R60m, is the biggest single order received by the company since it’s inception in 1969.

    Alstom is in charge of the engineering, procurement and construction of the six turbine islands

    The M4ACC:
    Hansen Transmissions designed and developed the M4ACC fan drive with close co-operation from major original equipment manufacturers of air-cooled condenser equipment. Air-cooled steam condensation plants are ideal in dry environments with scarce water resources and thus ideal for South Africa’s dryer areas.

    This close corroboration resulted in a dedicated design meeting exacting operating conditions while still utilising a maximum of standard and proven components. Some of the specific design criteria highlighted by OEM’s and end users incorporated in the design include:

    Optimised gear geometry:
    Hansen Transmissions’ gear design optimises gear geometry to reach the perfect balance between strength, torque capacity, surface durability and low noise performance. Carburised and ground to an AGMA level 11 finish, Hansen gearboxes have the lowest noise levels in the industry.

    The monobloc concept:
    The Hansen M4ACC gearbox housing is a monobloc design, which, apart from ensuring greater rigidity and stiffness of the housing, is engineered for high volume manufacturing resulting in substantial cost savings over the traditional split housing design.

    Oil tight for life:
    Oil leaks are a major problem in the air-cooled condenser industry due to environmental pollution as well as affecting the operational efficiency of the condensers and as the transformers are located below the cooling towers, raising the risk of electrical short circuits. To ensure an “oil tight for life” product, the M4ACC design includes a number of innovative and unique features.

    To eliminate external piping, the housing contains all the required oil channels and piping needed for lubrication of gears and bearings.

    The vertical down low speed shaft runs in a drywell, which is an integrated part of the housing totally eliminating the risk from oil leaks through the bottom low speed shaft seal. Due to this design, the bottom low speed shaft bearing is grease lubricated. The gearbox oil level is below the housing assembly port cover thus eliminating the risk of oil leaks from this area.

    High thermal capacity:
    Gearbox operating temperatures are critical for extended oil life and also effect gear and bearing wear characteristics. The external surface of the Hansen M4ACC housing is finned to increase the surface area, which increases heat dissipation. This is combined with a fan mounted on the motor shaft and a lantern housing designed to direct airflow to the housing areas where the most heat is being dissipated.

    With thousands of M4ACC gearboxes operating in all climatic conditions over the world these excellent thermal characteristics have been proven beyond any doubt ensuring end users of a gearbox operating at optimum temperatures thus extending oil change intervals and gearbox life.

    Low total cost of ownership:
    The M4ACC gearbox is designed to dramatically reduce end-user operating cost. Oil changes constitute the largest operating cost apart from electricity and because of the much lower oil capacity of the M4ACC, the option of extending oil change intervals from one to three years by using synthetic oils has become a viable alternative to end users. The M4ACC oil capacity is as much as 50% lower than comparable offerings from competitors and savings in oil usage of up to 75% has been achieved by end users replacing older generation gearboxes with the M4ACC.

    The Hansen M4ACC gearbox is also up to 50% lighter than comparable gearboxes resulting in significant savings in cost of the air-cooled condenser fan support structure.

    Local assembly and support:
    Hansen Transmissions SA has been responsible for the local assembly and support of Hansen gearboxes since 1969 building the Hansen brand to one of the most respected in SA and the supplier of choice for a large number of South Africa’s biggest companies. Local assembly is supported by a strong and experienced application engineering team, fully equipped repair facilities and a 24/7 field service team.
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