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Title: Damage mechanics and condition monitoring of wind turbine gearbox materials
Author: Jantara, Valter Luiz
ISNI:       0000 0004 7967 9457
Awarding Body: University of Birmingham
Current Institution: University of Birmingham
Date of Award: 2019
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The wind energy industry has been suffering from premature wind turbine gearbox failures since its inception. These components are designed to last 20-25 years. However, they rarely survive more than 7 years without being refurbished or replaced. The aim of this study is to better understand wind turbine gearbox failures and increase the reliability of this component. Failed samples were retrieved from the field. Thorough failure analysis revealed that misalignments, poor lubrication, and the presence of MnS inclusions can severely reduce the lifetime of wind turbine gearboxes. Rolling contact fatigue tests reiterate these findings. Acoustic emission monitoring was employed during laboratory tests. This condition monitoring technique was able to detect damage nucleation and propagation accurately during fatigue crack growth and rolling contact fatigue testing. Finally, finite element analysis was coupled with a constitutive model to quantify and predict damage in wind turbine gearboxes, while also testing for different service conditions. It was found that angular misalignment was the most detrimental service condition, followed by radial misalignment, and lack of lubrication. Additionally, an estimation of the remaining useful lifetime of the component was generated, further assisting wind turbine farm operators to move towards the implementation of a true predictive maintenance approach.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: TN Mining engineering. Metallurgy