Lead Session Chair:
Stephan Barth, Managing Director, ForWind - Center for Wind Energy Research, Germany
Javier San Miguel Armendáriz (1) F P Gurutz Urzelai (1) Antonio Ugarte (1) Carlos García de Cortazar (1)
(1) Centro Nacional de Energías Renovables, Sarriguren, Spain
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Cener large gearbox independent test facilities
The development of competitive wind turbines demands an optimized balanced among cost, reliability and maximum power capture. Specific Wind turbine gearbox development has greatly contributed to pursue that objective, but the current trend towards more challenging operating conditions calls for effective validation processes, both for new prototypes and repaired systems.
In order to prove reliability and robustness before commissioning into operation, CENER has focused in the development of test set ups and procedures for large wind turbine gearboxes. CENER objective is to provide the wind sector an independent verification of gearbox dynamic behaviours and prove of robustness under extreme loading conditions.
Main body of abstract
In our facilities, different subsystems may also be validated for challenging atmospheric conditions, e.g. oil distribution to bearings and gears. Running at low load, nominal load and overload measurements of structure and projected noise may be continuously analysed, finding solutions for achieving no tonalities. Condition monitoring equipment and borescope inspections may be provided for preventative failure analysis.
In order to extend proof on gearbox design robustness with respect to operational conditions customer specific validation methods may be implemented into the validation plans. If the duty cycles are well known it is possible to established progressive compressed life tests that may shorten the test rig time considerably. CENER may support its customers also with a full independent assessment on wind turbine loads, component strength calculations and insights from its past experience. This may allow our customers more in depth verifications than with standard overload test procedures. Test cycles apart from expected wind turbine operating conditions, should also include start-stops, torque reversals, emergency stops and Low voltage ride through events.
In conclusion, independent facilities that may apply advanced test procedures can make an important contribution to guarantee the reliability and robustness of both new and repaired gearboxes for large wind turbines.