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What are the main factors affecting wind turbine gearboxes?

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  • Time of issue:2020-11-12
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(Summary description)The main factors affecting the gearbox of a wind turbine are gear tooth damage, bearing damage, gear oil pump overload, high gearbox oil temperature, low oil level, and oil leakage.

What are the main factors affecting wind turbine gearboxes?

(Summary description)The main factors affecting the gearbox of a wind turbine are gear tooth damage, bearing damage, gear oil pump overload, high gearbox oil temperature, low oil level, and oil leakage.

  • Categories:News Center
  • Author:
  • Origin:
  • Time of issue:2020-11-12
  • Views:0

The main factors affecting the gearbox of a wind turbine are gear tooth damage, bearing damage, gear oil pump overload, high gearbox oil temperature, low oil level, and oil leakage.

   1. Gear tooth damage

   It can be seen from the above figure that, among the gear box failures, the gear tooth failure ratio is the largest. Gear tooth damage has two forms: tooth fracture and tooth surface damage. Gear tooth fracture is due to the design stress is less than the ultimate stress acting on the gear teeth, or the gear bears excessively high alternating loads, and the design fatigue load is insufficient. Due to the excessive contact shear stress, stress cycle times, poor lubrication, heat treatment, installation and debugging, the tooth surface is prone to damage including gluing, pitting, tooth surface peeling, and surface crushing. The picture below is a photo of tooth surface damage and broken gear teeth of a wind power gearbox.

Due to the instability of wind load, the correct load value cannot be obtained through experience. When designing the gearbox, it is necessary to select a reasonable load application factor, fully consider the prevention of overload factors and the dynamic load spectrum of the load, and correctly select the gear parameters, materials and gear accuracy; Ensure processing accuracy and eliminate stress concentration; fully clean during installation to prevent foreign matter from entering the box, and operate and maintain according to specifications. After the failure occurs, the cause of the failure should be analyzed according to the actual situation.

   2. Bearing damage

  The bearing is an important part of the gearbox. Due to factors such as installation, lubrication, pollution and bearing fatigue, the bearing will fail due to pitting, cracks, and surface peeling, which will damage the gearbox. The following picture shows a damaged hollow shaft end bearing in a wind farm.

   When designing the gearbox, the bearing load should be fully considered, a reasonable safety margin should be selected, the bearing type should be selected correctly, the bearing lubrication should be ensured, the installation should be standardized, and the monitoring of the bearing running status should be strengthened. If there is any abnormality, stop the machine in time to avoid catastrophic damage to the gearbox due to damage to the bearing.

  3. Gear oil pump overload

   Gear oil pump overload usually occurs in wind farms in the northern cold zone. In the low temperature environment in winter, when the wind turbine is shut down for a long time due to various reasons, the oil temperature in the gear box is low, and the viscosity of the gear box lubricating oil is high, which causes the heavy load when the oil pump starts, which causes the oil pump motor to overload.

   When the lubricating oil temperature is too low and the viscosity is too high, the heater should be turned on in the standby state to heat the oil temperature to normal temperature, and then start the operation. Blindly driving will cause damage to the gear oil pump.

  The other reason for the overload of the oil pump is that the seal of the oil pump is aging and the lubricating oil enters the oil pump, which causes the oil pump to overload. In this case, replace the oil seal, clean the oil pump, and resume operation after the oil pump is dry.

   4. Gearbox oil temperature is too high

   The latest national standard stipulates that the gearbox oil temperature should not exceed 85°. The following factors can cause the gearbox oil temperature to be too high: insufficient lubrication; transmission parts jamming; excessive vibration of the unit; temperature sensor failure, etc.

   Under normal circumstances, the gearbox will not have excessive oil temperature. If the gearbox has abnormally high temperature, it needs to be carefully analyzed to determine the cause of the failure. Firstly, check whether the lubricating oil supply is sufficient; check again the gear meshing, whether there are metal impurities, and whether the transmission parts are stuck; check again the vibration of the unit and whether the temperature sensor is working properly. If the temperature is too high due to the unit's full power generation for a long time, it should not be turned on blindly, and it should be turned on after the unit's oil temperature has returned to the normal value.

   5. Low gear oil level

The gear oil level is low because the oil level is lower than the lower limit. The possible causes of the fault are: the oil temperature drops after a long period of shutdown in winter, and the oil level switch is slow because the gear oil viscosity is too high, resulting in false alarms; sensor damage cannot correctly alarm; The static oil level before the gearbox is running is too different from the dynamic oil level, the dynamic oil level is too low, and the alarm cannot be normally issued.

   After this fault occurs in the wind turbine, the operator should go to the site to check the gear oil level in time and test the sensor function if necessary. For such failures, correct judgments should be made based on the actual situation to avoid unnecessary major losses.

  6. ​​Gear box oil leakage

  The interface end of the gearbox and the pipe joints may cause oil leakage due to the improper sealing structure design or sealing quality problems. At the same time, the oil leakage may also cause external dust to enter the box and contaminate the lubricating oil.

   At present, the gearbox oil leakage problem is basically a design flaw. The seal structure should be carefully considered during design, the quality of the seal should be strictly controlled, and the installation should be standardized to prevent the seal from being scratched during installation. Once an oil leakage accident occurs at the scene, the actual structure should be used to analyze the problem, take practical solutions, and check whether the lubricating oil is contaminated.

   With the rapid development of the domestic wind power industry, the quality of wind turbine gearboxes has been relatively reliable. Major domestic gearbox manufacturers have already mastered the core design technology and have the ability to independently design and develop. In terms of design platform, design software such as UG, solidworks and ProE is used for three-dimensional modeling, software such as ANSYS, ADAMS is used for structural analysis, and software such as Romax, Smart and Kissoft is used for system analysis, etc., providing strong technical support and support for wind power gearbox design. Guaranteed. Through reasonable analysis of the gearbox load, selection of suitable gear parameters and bearings, strengthening the processing and assembly of various parts of the gearbox, and doing routine maintenance and regular maintenance in accordance with the specifications, the above-mentioned failure modes have rarely appeared. Wind power gearboxes can now operate stably and reliably in harsh natural environments such as mountains, wilderness, beaches, and islands.


Jinhua Ruipu Machinrey Manufacturing Co.,ltd is an enterprise engaged in foreign sale business which integrating R&D,production, and marketing together, mainly specialized in the production of gear box for golf trolley, electric transaxle and dual motor.

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