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Novel Low Cost, High Reliability Wind Turbine Drivetrain

Description: Clipper Windpower, in collaboration with United Technologies Research Center, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and Hamilton Sundstrand Corporation, developed a low-cost, deflection-compliant, reliable, and serviceable chain drive speed increaser. This chain and sprocket drivetrain design offers significant breakthroughs in the areas of cost and serviceability and addresses the key challenges of current geared and direct-drive systems. The use of gearboxes has proven to be challenging; the large torques and bending loads associated with use in large multi-MW wind applications have generally limited demonstrated lifetime to 8-10 years [1]. The large cost of gearbox replacement and the required use of large, expensive cranes can result in gearbox replacement costs on the order of $1M, representing a significant impact to overall cost of energy (COE). Direct-drive machines eliminate the gearbox, thereby targeting increased reliability and reduced life-cycle cost. However, the slow rotational speeds require very large and costly generators, which also typically have an undesirable dependence on expensive rare-earth magnet materials and large structural penalties for precise air gap control. The cost of rare-earth materials has increased 20X in the last 8 years representing a key risk to ever realizing the promised cost of energy reductions from direct-drive generators. A common challenge to both geared and direct drive architectures is a limited ability to manage input shaft deflections. The proposed Clipper drivetrain is deflection-compliant, insulating later drivetrain stages and generators from off-axis loads. The system is modular, allowing for all key parts to be removed and replaced without the use of a high capacity crane. Finally, the technology modularity allows for scalability and many possible drivetrain topologies. These benefits enable reductions in drivetrain capital cost by 10.0%, levelized replacement and O&M costs by 26.7%, and overall cost of energy by 10.2%. This design was achieved by: (1) performing an extensive optimization study ...
Date: September 13, 2012
Creator: Chobot, Anthony; Das, Debarshi; Mayer, Tyler; Markey, Zach; Martinson, Tim; Reeve, Hayden et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Full Life Wind Turbine Gearbox Lubricating Fluids

Description: Industrial gear box lubricants typically are hydrocarbon based mineral oils with considerable amounts of additives to overcome the lack of base fluid properties like wear protection, oxidation stability, load carrying capacity, low temperature solidification and drop of viscosity at higher temperatures. For today's wind turbine gearboxes, the requirements are more severe and synthetic hydrocarbon oils are used to improve on this, but all such hydrocarbon based lubricants require significant amounts of Extreme Pressure (EP) additives to meet performance requirements. Perfluoropolyether (PFPE) fluids provide load carrying capacity as an inherent property. During the course of the project with the main tasks of 'Establish a Benchmark', 'Lubricant Evaluation', 'Full Scale Gearbox Trial' and 'Economic Evaluation', the PAO Reference oil exhibited significant changes after laboratory gear testing, in service operation in the field and full scale gearbox trial. Four hydrocarbon base oils were selected for comparison in the benchmarking exercise and showed variation with respect to meeting the requirements for the laboratory micro-pitting tests, while the PFPE fluid exceeded the requirements even with the material taken after the full scale gear box trial. This is remarkable for a lubricant without EP additives. Laboratory bearing tests performed on the PFPE fluids before and after the full scale gear box trial showed the results met requirements for the industry standard. The PFPE fluid successfully completed the full scale gear box test program which included baseline and progressive staged load testing. The evaluation of gears showed no micro-pitting or objectionable wear. By the final stage, lubricant film thickness had been reduced to just 21% of its original value, this was by design and resulted in a lambda ratio of well below 1. This test design scenario of a low lambda ratio is a very undesirable lubrication condition for real world but creates the ability to test ...
Date: February 28, 2012
Creator: Lutz, Glenn A.; Jungk, Manfred; Bryant, Jonathan J.; Lauer, Rebecca S.; Chobot, Anthony; Mayer, Tyler et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department