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Improving Wind Turbine Drivetrain Reliability Using a Combined Experimental, Computational, and Analytical Approach

[+] Author Affiliations
Yi Guo, Jeroen van Dam

National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, CO

Roger Bergua, Jordi Jove

ALSTOM Wind S.L.U., Barcelona, Spain

Jon Campbell

ALSTOM Wind, Richmond, VA

Paper No. DETC2014-35169, pp. V007T05A004; 11 pages
doi:10.1115/DETC2014-35169
From:
  • ASME 2014 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 7: 2nd Biennial International Conference on Dynamics for Design; 26th International Conference on Design Theory and Methodology
  • Buffalo, New York, USA, August 17–20, 2014
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division, Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4640-7
  • Copyright © 2014 by ASME and Alstom Power Inc.

abstract

Nontorque loads induced by the wind turbine rotor overhang weight and aerodynamic forces can greatly affect drivetrain loads and responses. If not addressed properly, these loads can result in a decrease in gearbox component life. This work uses analytical modeling, computational modeling, and experimental data to evaluate a unique drivetrain design that minimizes the effects of nontorque loads on gearbox reliability: the Pure Torque® drivetrain developed by Alstom. The drivetrain has a hub-support configuration that transmits nontorque loads directly into the tower rather than through the gearbox as in other design approaches. An analytical model of Alstom’s Pure Torque drivetrain provides insight into the relationships among turbine component weights, aerodynamic forces, and the resulting drivetrain loads. Main shaft bending loads are orders of magnitude lower than the rated torque and are hardly affected by wind conditions and turbine operations.

Copyright © 2014 by ASME and Alstom Power Inc.

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