Replacing existing slip rings on the aftermarket side of the wind industry has become an
important part of UEA’s business. The majority of these replacement slip rings are designed by reverse engineering existing slip rings the end user now has. Service companies, site owners, or power companies that are having issues with the existing slip ring in their wind turbines are all contacting us. The problem is they generally do not have the detailed specification for us, but what they do have is the existing product for us to reverse engineer.
Reverse engineering is needed only for the mechanical mounting of the slip ring and the
electrical connections for the customer, allowing the slip ring to be a drop in replacement. UEA designs the internals of the slip ring, which consist of our brush and ring combinations. This can be challenging depending on the amount of information we receive.
In many instances we only receive the existing slip ring and “no” circuit ratings or specifications. In these cases we have to pay extreme attention to detail to make sure we build our circuits to handle the power and data requirements. We also take into consideration the problems that have caused the customer to contact UEA. Commonly, the problems were caused by the other supplier “under engineering” the slip ring, or perhaps the original information was inaccurate. Whatever the reason, our goal is to give the customer a product that will fix their problems and perform well beyond the slip ring we are replacing.
Jesse Shearer – Design Engineer