The paper proposes a new approach to the efficiency evaluation of any one- or multi-degree-of-freedom gear trains. The suggested approach generalizes the known procedures developed for two-degree-of-freedom gear trains. It is based on the determination of a vector whose components are the torques delivered to the shafts of the gear train. Furthermore the paper shows that, for a notable category of gear trains, such a vector can have only a finite number of directions, which implies that a limited number of experimental data suffices for estimating the efficiency at any operational condition. Examples of application of the proposed methodology are provided.

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