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Physics-Based Gearbox Failure Model for Multi-MW Offshore Wind Turbines

[+] Author Affiliations
Marco Sepulveda, Peter Davies

Lloyd’s Register, Aberdeen, UK

Jonathan Shek

University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK

Philipp R. Thies

University of Exeter, Exeter, UK

Erkan Oterkus

University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK

Mark Spring

Lloyd’s Register, Bath, UK

Paper No. OMAE2017-62257, pp. V03BT02A011; 7 pages
  • ASME 2017 36th International Conference on Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering
  • Volume 3B: Structures, Safety and Reliability
  • Trondheim, Norway, June 25–30, 2017
  • Conference Sponsors: Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5766-3
  • Copyright © 2017 by ASME


This study proposes an analytical methodology to assess the risk to the operation of an offshore wind turbine in order to identify critical assemblies. The gearbox is one of the critical assemblies regarding maintenance costs and downtime. Failure investigation shows that the high speed shaft bearings are one of the gearbox components with a higher probability of fatigue damage. A physics-based model is developed to calculate the accumulated damage and to estimate the remaining useful life. The model is created for a 3 stage gearbox with two planetary and one parallel helical gear.

This paper summarises the methodology and results of a damage accumulation calculation under a load spectrum derived from 1 year of SCADA data. The final results are consistent with the damage levels found in the failure investigation.

Copyright © 2017 by ASME



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