In the US, wind energy is one of the electrical energy sources that are growing fastest. The growth has been linear at a rate of about 20% to 30% per year over the last decade. For the next two decades, the wind industry has set its goal to more than 20%. However, there still remains concern on the reliability of wind turbines. This concern is often directed to the fact that gearbox failure has been a major problem in the wind industry. Compared to the other wind turbine components, gearbox failures result in the second highest down time per failure. Currently, there are several initiatives underway to improve gearbox reliability in wind turbines. Additionally, due to the increasing performance requirements, there has also been need of new gear designs. Recently, theoretical analyses have shown that asymmetric gears may offer a potential to reduce the costs associated with the gear failures, while at the same time maintaining the fatigue life. Also, for wind turbine gearboxes, the gears experience only uni-directional loading. In these instances, the geometry of the drive side does not have to be symmetric to the coast side. This allows for the designing of gears with asymmetric teeth. The objective of this research was to design and construct a testbed for testing the performance of asymmetric gears. The tests to be performed on the testbed include gear dynamics, tip relief modification, high-contact-ratio, and wear.
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- Gear with Asymmetric Teeth for use in Wind Turbines
F. M. Alemayehu
- Springer New York
in-adhesives, MKVS, Hellmich GmbH/© Hellmich GmbH, Zühlke/© Zühlke