NREL Collaborates to Improve Wind Turbine Technology (Fact Sheet)

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NREL's Gearbox Reliability Collaborative leads to wind turbine gearbox reliability, lowering the cost of energy. Unintended gearbox failures have a significant impact on the cost of wind farm operations. In 2007, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) initiated the Gearbox Reliability Collaborative (GRC), which follows a multi-pronged approach based on a collaborative of manufacturers, owners, researchers, and consultants. The project combines analysis, field testing, dynamometer testing, condition monitoring, and the development and population of a gearbox failure database. NREL and other GRC partners have been able to identify shortcomings in the design, testing, and operation of wind turbines that contribute ... continued below

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1 pg.

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Creator: Unknown. January 1, 2012.

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NREL's Gearbox Reliability Collaborative leads to wind turbine gearbox reliability, lowering the cost of energy. Unintended gearbox failures have a significant impact on the cost of wind farm operations. In 2007, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) initiated the Gearbox Reliability Collaborative (GRC), which follows a multi-pronged approach based on a collaborative of manufacturers, owners, researchers, and consultants. The project combines analysis, field testing, dynamometer testing, condition monitoring, and the development and population of a gearbox failure database. NREL and other GRC partners have been able to identify shortcomings in the design, testing, and operation of wind turbines that contribute to reduced gearbox reliability. In contrast to private investigations of these problems, GRC findings are quickly shared among GRC participants, including many wind turbine manufacturers and equipment suppliers. Ultimately, the findings are made public for use throughout the wind industry. This knowledge will result in increased gearbox reliability and an overall reduction in the cost of wind energy. Project essentials include the development of two redesigned and heavily instrumented representative gearbox designs. Field and dynamometer tests are conducted on the gearboxes to build an understanding of how selected loads and events translate into bearing and gear response. The GRC evaluates and validates current wind turbine, gearbox, gear and bearing analytical tools/models, develops new tools/models, and recommends improvements to design and certification standards, as required. In addition, the GRC is investigating condition monitoring methods to improve turbine reliability. Gearbox deficiencies are the result of many factors, and the GRC team recommends efficient and cost-effective improvements in order to expand the industry knowledge base and facilitate immediate improvements in the gearbox life cycle.

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1 pg.

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  • Related Information: NREL Highlights, Research & Development, NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory)

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  • Report No.: NREL/FS-5000-53584
  • Grant Number: AC36-08GO28308
  • DOI: 10.2172/1033032 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 1033032
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc834516

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  • January 1, 2012

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • May 19, 2016, 3:16 p.m.

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  • Sept. 1, 2016, 1:18 p.m.

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NREL Collaborates to Improve Wind Turbine Technology (Fact Sheet), report, January 1, 2012; Golden, Colorado. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc834516/: accessed June 19, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.