David Brown creates test rig

David Brown Engineering has created a test rig at its Huddersfield works to simulate operational loading from the world’s largest pumping system as part of a GBP 2.3 million project to supply gearboxes to the Narmada dam project in India. Representatives from pump manufacturer Kirloskar Brothers Ltd in India visited the works to see the rig in operation and discussed delivery schedules for the gearboxes. David Brown, a Textron Power Transmission company, is supplying 26 single stage vertical planetary gear units that transmit approximately 4500 kW at 200 rpm and are nominally capable of handling a thrust load of over 90 tonnes. They have been designed and engineered to operate in arduous conditions at ambient temperatures of over 45° C. The rig is custom-designed for the Narmada project to subject the gearboxes to no-load and full-load testing. It was created using two of the gearboxes mounted in a back-to-back configuration; full load torque is applied through a connecting gearbox and the pump thrust is simulated using hydraulic rams. The first gear units are due for delivery before the end of the year and the remainder will be supplied over the 4-year life of the project. The Narmada Project canal system in the state of Gujarat will eventually irrigate 1.8 million hectares of land, and meet the drinking water requirements of millions of drought-affected people. Kirloskar Brothers is building five huge new pumping stations equipped with mammoth concrete volute pumps, which will eventually be capable of lifting some 410,000 litres of water per second to provide irrigation and drinking water to 132 towns and a large number of villages in the drought-affected areas of the Saurashtra region.

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