Mitigation of transient torque reversals in indirect drive wind turbine drivetrains
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2023

Bearing failure in wind turbine gearboxes is one of the significant sources of downtime. While it is well-known that bearing failures cause the largest downtime, the failure cause(s) is often elusive. The bearings are designed to satisfy their rolling contact fatigue (RCF) life. However, they often undergo sudden and rapid failure within a few years of operation. It is well-known that these premature failures are attributed to surface damages such as white surface flaking (WSF), white etching cracks (WECs) and axial cracks. In that regard, transient torque reversals (TTRs) in the drivetrain have emerged as one of the primary triggers of surface damage, as explained in this paper. The risk associated with TTRs motivates the need to mitigate TTRs arising in the drivetrain due to various transient events. This paper investigates three TTR mitigation methods. First, two existing devices, namely, the torsional tuned mass damper and the asymmetric torque limiter, are studied to demonstrate their TTR mitigation capabilities. Then, a novel idea of open-loop high-speed shaft mechanical brake control is proposed. The results presented here show that while the torsional tuned mass damper and the asymmetric torque limiter can improve the torsional vibration characteristics of the drivetrain, they cannot mitigate TTRs in terms of eliminating the bearing slip risk associated with TTRs. However, the novel approach proposed here can mitigate TTRs both in terms of improving the torque characteristic in the high-speed shaft and reducing the risk of bearing slip by actuating the high-speed shaft brake at the onset of the transient event. Furthermore, the control method is capable of mitigating TTRs with the mechanical limitations of a pneumatic actuator in terms of bandwidth and initial dead time applied to it. This novel approach allows the wind turbines to protect the gearbox bearings from TTRs using the existing hardware on the turbine.

transient torque reversals

brake control

SIMPACK gearbox model

torsional tuned mass damper

wind turbine

asymmetric torque limiter


Saptarshi Sarkar

Chalmers, Mekanik och maritima vetenskaper, Dynamik

Håkan Johansson

Chalmers, Mekanik och maritima vetenskaper, Dynamik

Viktor Berbyuk

Chalmers, Mekanik och maritima vetenskaper, Dynamik

Wind Energy

1095-4244 (ISSN) 1099-1824 (eISSN)

Vol. 26 803-825

Site-specifika analysmetoder för att förutsäga och öka livstiden för vindturbiner

Svensk Vindkraftstekniskt Centrum (SWPTC), 2019-07-01 -- 2022-12-31.




Annan elektroteknik och elektronik



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