The British Know-How in Hands of Traditional Industrial Brand
Driven by the then high failure rate experienced on wind turbine gearboxes and given such failure rates were not sustainable in capital machinery, certainly for “offshore” turbines, Ray J Hicks MBE and Dr Frank Cunliffe - who have an association spanning over 40 years - decided to form ORBITAL2 in September 2003, to exploit the long history of the Hicks flexible pin planetary gear designs and their application to Renewable Energy Turbines.
The first ‘renewable’ application of the Hicks flexible pin was the 3MW LS1 turbine installed in Orkney in 1987. This turbine was many years ahead of its time; the gearbox not only incorporated flexible planet pins, but a variable ratio system to enable the rotor speed to vary while driving a synchronous, constant speed generator. This principle is used today by Orbital2 in their variable ratio gearboxes for wind, tidal and other applications.
Orbital2 is an independent member of Wikov Group and continues the ethos of Hicks and Cunliffe in developing reliable, compact and low weight flexible pin gearboxes for both renewable and industrial applications.