Loading and design parameter uncertainty in the dynamics and performance of high-speed-parallel-helical-stage of a wind turbine gearbox

Fisseha M. Alemayehu, Stephen Ekwaro-Osire

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

In operation, wind turbine gearboxes (WTGs) are subjected to variable torsional and nontorsional loads. In addition, the manufacturing and assembly process of these devices results in uncertainty in the design parameters of the system. WTGs are reported to fail in their early life of operation within 3-7 years as opposed to the expected 20 years of operation. Their downtime and maintenance process is the most costly of the failures of any subassembly of wind turbines (WTs). The objective of this work is to perform a probabilistic multibody dynamic analysis (PMBDA) of the high-speed-parallel-helical-stage (HSPHS) of a WTG that considers the uncertainties of generator-side torque-loading and input-shaft speed as well as assembly and design parameter uncertainties. Component reliability (Rc) or probability of failure (Pf) and probabilistic sensitivities of all the input variables toward five performance functions have been measured and conclusions have been drawn. As opposed to the traditional deterministic approach, PMBDA has demonstrated a new aspect of design and installation of WTGs. In addition to revealing Rc or system reliability or underperformance through Pf, the method will also help designers to critically consider certain variables through the probabilistic sensitivity results.

Original languageEnglish
Article number091002
JournalJournal of Mechanical Design, Transactions of the ASME
Volume136
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2014

Keywords

  • Performance function
  • gear
  • multibody dynamics
  • probabilistic sensitivity
  • reliability
  • uncertainty

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