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Wind Turbine Drivetrain Diagnostics Simulator

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An Ideal Apparatus for Wind Turbine Reliability Studies

SpectraQuest’s Wind Turbine Drivetrain Diagnosis Simulator (WTDS) has been designed to simulate wind turbine drivetrains for experimental and educational purposes. The drivetrain consists of a 1 stage planetary gearbox, a 2 stage parallel shaft gearbox with rolling bearings, a bearing loader, and a programmable magnetic brake. All elements of the WTDS have been designed to maximize the number of drivetrain configurations to investigate gearbox dynamics and acoustic behavior, health monitoring, vibration based diagnostic techniques, lubricant conditioning or wear particle analysis. It is robust enough to handle heady loads and spacious enough for easy gear placement, setup, and installation of monitoring devices. The two-stage parallel shaft gearbox can be configured as to reduce or increase the gear ratio. The planetary gear train, sun, planet and ring gears, the carrier, and bearings are all easily accessible.

Flexible Drivetrain Fault Diagnostics

The effect faults like surface wear, crack tooth, chipped tooth and missing tooth can be demonstrated on either spur gears or helical gears. Rolling element bearing faults like inner race, outer race, ball damage can also be incorporated. Adjustable clearance to study backlash is possible: increasing the amount of backlash is without major consequence (other than increased noise and rotational play), and reducing backlash can result in binding and/or excessive operating temperatures. Drivetrain misalignment can also be introduced intentionally in the WTDS. Any of these faults can be added to the drivetrain one at a time, or simultaneously to study fault interactions. Both torsional and radial loadings can be applied to study damage signature or propagation in gears and/or bearings: the torsional load is applied via a 3 HP variable frequency AC drive with a programmable, user-defined speed profiles; and the radial load is applied to a shaft in the parallel gearbox. With the programmable magnetic brake, rapid load fluctuation can be applied to simulate real life loading conditions experienced by wind turbines.