Gearboxes Varvel for renewables in wind power and photovoltaic

Posted 31 May 2021
Varvel energie rinnovabili

The Varvel Group is dedicated to develop sustainable activities in the power transmission sector, combining economic and environmental sustainability with the commitment to excellent energy management and to research into increasingly efficient solutions for the development of renewables, such as wind power and photovoltaic.

Also in 2020, the Group invested in clean electricity choosing to obtain certified energy from renewable sources. The Group purchased Guarantees of Origin (as defined by Directive 2009/28/EC), European tracking instruments which guarantee that energy used in manufacturing activities comes from 100% renewable sources, in order to certify its energy supply for the whole year 2020. By using only clean energy, the Varvel Group is significantly reducing the CO2 normally emitted by mechanical engineering activities.

The confirmation of the purchase of Guarantees of Origin is just one of the major initiatives the company is taking to help combat climate change. Varvel began leading the shift towards more sustainable energy models at the start of the millennium by adopting an ‘Environmental Management System’ certified to EN ISO 14001. In 2010 the Group installed a photovoltaic system that covers the entire production plant and generates around 200,000 KWh/year of clean energy, reducing emissions and consumption of fossil fuels. This eco-friendly policy is becoming increasingly important now that PM10 limits are regularly exceeded in the Italian Emilia-Romagna region, where the Group is based.

After sixty-five years of activity in the power transmission sector, Varvel thus also believes that the role as a responsible company also requires to help build sustainable communities. The manufacturer’s gearboxes are indeed used even in the renewable energy sector, particularly in wind turbines and photovoltaic tracking systems. The design of high-tech solutions for the renewable energy industry therefore also expresses the respect for the environment, the commitment to reducing waste and the research into alternative energy sources. Over the years, working closely with leading manufacturers around the world, Varvel acquired and consolidated a vast experience in the production of gearboxes for wind and photovoltaic energy generation and storage. The company has developed worm gears for blade pitch control and for the movement of solar panels.

In the wind sector, Varvel worm gearboxes are also connected to the planetary gearboxes that govern nacelle yaw, and permit continuous functioning even in strong turbulence and gusty conditions. Wind turbine parks are located in areas subject to highly variable wind direction and therefore nacelles have to be re-oriented frequently. These maneuvers are potentially critical but can now be completed safely and efficiently thanks to repeated testing in the laboratory and in the field. In the photovoltaic sector, it is essential to constantly adjust solar tracking angle as this improves output from the installation. Varvel worm gearboxes can be used to achieve the so-called ‘sun-flower effect’, allowing solar panels to ‘track’ the sun and ensure maximum solar irradiation, boosting system output.

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