Press Release


ZF Intelligent Wind Gearbox

  • ZF introduces a concept of the intelligent wind gearbox at HANNOVER MESSE 2016
  • A solution contributing to the reduction of downtime, the optimization of performance and the decrease of levelized cost of energy
  • ZF is heading for the “Intelligent Wind Gearbox” of the future making use of integrated sensor technology and the associated data analytics

The vision of optimized wind turbine performance management includes state-of-the-art features to sense real loads and health status during operation as well as new methods to reduce service bills.

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ZF Intelligent Wind Gearbox

“The continuous strive to reduce the levelized cost of wind energy motivates ZF”, says Jan Willem Ruinemans, Head of Business Unit Wind Power Technology. “Based on many years of experience we now take the next step to use the data streams of devices and sensors integrated in the gearbox to optimize performance and maintenance. This allows new methods for wind turbine gearbox servicing to be developed.”

With the “Intelligent Wind Gearbox” ZF demonstrates a series of innovative approaches on how advanced sensor technology and data analytics can increase the efficiency and reliability of wind power plants. “We expect a high cost reduction potential in the wind industry and are looking forward to continue to develop this path of growth”, announces Ralf Hambrecht, Head of R&D Wind Power Technology.

Features of the intelligent wind gearbox:
Dynamic load monitoring & Active torque control

The dynamic load monitoring detects actual drive train loads and identifies load reduction potential to increase component lifetime.
The active torque control contributes to the optimization of turbine operation in less stressful operation modes.
Through advanced load monitoring an increased energy yield and an extended gearbox lifetime are achieved.

Integrated sensor technology & Bluetooth smart tags

Predictive info-streams generated from integrated sensors enable remote monitoring of gearbox operation and health status, as well as early detection of possible faults. It is a decisive factor the more independent these sensors can see, think and act. But it is just as important to provide information from the plant control and health status monitoring.

Remote visual inspection & Advanced vibration monitoring

The reduction of downtime for wind turbines requires an efficient planning of preventive maintenance actions. Therefore unplanned downtime can be avoided.
Intelligent sensors in the gearbox help the service teams to plan the resources needed for repair interventions more efficiently. An important factor is that actions can also be prepared and defined from remote locations.

ZF Wind Power

ZF Wind Power is a pioneer in the field of most advanced gearboxes for wind turbines and a globally established top-tier global supplier of innovative and durable gearboxes.

By taking over the wind power business of Bosch Rexroth AG and the two production locations in Witten and Peking in 2015, ZF Wind Power further extended its gearbox expertise and complemented its portfolio for gearboxes in the range of a capacity of 1.5 to 8 MW. Moreover, the presence in the important wind gearbox market China was further expanded as a result of this acquisition.

ZF Wind Power supplies gearboxes to the leading manufacturers of wind power plants. In close cooperation with the customers state-of-the-art gearboxes for wind turbines are developed to specifically meet the requirements of a wind turbine.


Cornelia Urlhardt

Team Leader Market & Company Communication

+49 851 494-2556