Damage mechanics and condition monitoring of wind turbine gearbox materials

Jantara Junior, Valter Luiz (2019). Damage mechanics and condition monitoring of wind turbine gearbox materials. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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The wind energy industry has been suffering from premature wind turbine gearbox failures since its inception. These components are designed to last 20-25 years. However, they rarely survive more than 7 years without being refurbished or replaced. The aim of this study is to better understand wind turbine gearbox failures and increase the reliability of this component. Failed samples were retrieved from the field. Thorough failure analysis revealed that misalignments, poor lubrication, and the presence of MnS inclusions can severely reduce the lifetime of wind turbine gearboxes. Rolling contact fatigue tests reiterate these findings. Acoustic emission monitoring was employed during laboratory tests. This condition monitoring technique was able to detect damage nucleation and propagation accurately during fatigue crack growth and rolling contact fatigue testing. Finally, finite element analysis was coupled with a constitutive model to quantify and predict damage in wind turbine gearboxes, while also testing for different service conditions. It was found that angular misalignment was the most detrimental service condition, followed by radial misalignment, and lack of lubrication. Additionally, an estimation of the remaining useful lifetime of the component was generated, further assisting wind turbine farm operators to move towards the implementation of a true predictive maintenance approach.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Engineering & Physical Sciences
School or Department: School of Metallurgy and Materials
Funders: Other
Other Funders: National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq)
Subjects: T Technology > TN Mining engineering. Metallurgy
URI: http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/id/eprint/8972

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  • Damage mechanics and condition monitoring of wind turbine gearbox materials. (deposited 11 Jun 2019 16:23) [Currently Displayed]


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