Gearbox Failures in Wind Turbines

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missouri
When they erect the turbines, they spend some time with the rotor locked. Locked seldom means zero movement, could a slight rocking back and forth cause surface failure in those spots.

The blades must have some creep, meaning that when they are first spun there will be some out of balance. This could overload the bearing and make it fail.



Rod
 

Kestas

Staff member
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The Motor City
Static damage from micromovement when standing still can and will do damage to bearing raceways. It is called "false brinelling."

The classic case for false brinelling is with automotive wheel bearings on new cars that are shipped across the country.
 
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1,863
Location
Middle of Iowa
There was recently a Drenchearo that passed thru windmill country of Iowa and Illinois. Anyone know how the windmills did or did not survive.

Those members in the area might watch in the coming months and see if a lot of turbines are shut down or under repair as it seems reasonable that design limits were approached if not exceeded. 100MPH wind with rain, hail, farmers roofs, etc.


Rod
They shut down and pitch the blades to minimize drag in high winds. I have several large wind farms near me very close to the epicenter of the Derecho, and I did not see a single turbine failure, most were back to running automatically later that afternoon.
 

MolaKule

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Thread starter
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21,395
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Iowegia - USA
When they erect the turbines, they spend some time with the rotor locked. Locked seldom means zero movement, could a slight rocking back and forth cause surface failure in those spots.
The only possible movement would be due to clearances between gear teeth and that is in thousandths of an inch.

The blades must have some creep, meaning that when they are first spun there will be some out of balance. This could overload the bearing and make it fail. Rod
The blade/hub system is well balanced.

Much research is still ongoing and there has NOT been a "smoking gun" identified.

My view is that any solution(s) forthcoming will be a change in both the bearing metallurgy AND a change in the lubricant's formulation, especially in a formulation that reduces the amount of total hydrogen in the lubricant.
 
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