The balance between water demand and availability has reached a critical level in many areas of Europe, according to the European Environment Agency and it is expected that the situation will be exacerbated in future by climate and social change.
The UN Environment Programme reports that trends indicate a 40% rise in average water consumption by Europeans over the next 20 years, while EC statistics show that total freshwater resources are at relatively low levels (below 3,000m³ per capita) in the six largest Member States (Germany, Spain, France, Italy, Poland and the UK), as well as in Belgium, Denmark and the Czech Republic.
It is clear that the treatment of wastewater has a key and growing role to play in addressing this problem and will require an increase in the number of water treatment facilities available.
European wastewater treatment plants delivering high-quality clean water from sewage face a number of unresolved problems related to gearbox operation. Because most gearboxes operate in outdoor conditions, they are one of the most vulnerable units at treatment plants. The following conditions can lead to extensive gearbox damage/failure:
• The probabilistic nature of gearbox loads and essential load variation during gearbox operation.
• High levels of humidity increases the possibility of water ingress into lubricant oil of the gearbox.
• High temperature variations.
• Most gearboxes operate in non-stationary start/stop conditions.
The lndGEAR project — through our consortium of SMEs, research and development partners, and major water industry end users — aims to introduce the radically novel triple technology for damage diagnosis, damage prognosis, and root cause analysis through radically novel signal processing of gear vibrations.
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