Drivetrain Layout

The nacelle of the wind turbine is the external housing that contains the main mechanical components of the system. As shown in Fig. 18.7, these components include the rotor shaft and bearings, a gearbox assembly (if necessary), a lubricant filtration system, a mechanical braking system, a generator, and power electronics. The gearbox transmits power from the main shaft to a high-speed shaft, which, in turn, drives the generator. The drivetrain components and nacelle cover are mounted onto a bedplate, which in turn, is positioned on top of a yaw system that is designed to actively orient the rotor into the wind.

Although a variety of wind turbine drivetrain designs are currently in use, all utility-scale designs generally fall within three main categories [27]. The first



Nacelle Component
Fig. 18.7 Diagram of components in wind turbine nacelle
Nacelle Wind Turbine Diagram
Fig. 18.8 Drivetrain layout featuring two bearings outside the gearbox supporting the main shaft, from [28]

concept (Fig. 18.8) involves the support of the main shaft using two bearings. The bearing nearest the rotor carries both axial and radial loads while the bearing near the gearbox carries radial loads. As a result, the main shaft transfers only torque into the gearbox. Because the gearbox may carry reaction torque towards the bed plate, the gearbox assembly may be fitted with torque arms to transfer the reaction torque to the bedplate. The second concept (Fig. 18.9), known as a

Two Opposing Rotor
Fig. 18.9 Drivetrain layout incorporating a three-point suspension, with one rotor shaft bearing integrated into the gearbox, from [28]

Fig. 18.10 Drivetrain layout with all main bearings integrated in the gearbox, from [27]

''three-point-suspension'' design, involves the use of one axial bearing to support the main shaft near the rotor, while a radial bearing supports the opposing end of the shaft from inside the gearbox. The gearbox itself is mounted on the bed plate and is supported by two torque arms. The third category of drivetrain (Fig. 18.10) involves the use of direct integration of the gearbox into the nacelle. In this design, all loads from the rotor enter the gearbox, with all of the rotor support bearings integrated into the gearbox as well. This design can be considered advantageous for the purposes of weight reduction of the nacelle; however, incompatibilities between the gearbox and the remaining components in the nacelle can lead to early failure [27].

Renewable Energy 101

Renewable Energy 101

Renewable energy is energy that is generated from sunlight, rain, tides, geothermal heat and wind. These sources are naturally and constantly replenished, which is why they are deemed as renewable. The usage of renewable energy sources is very important when considering the sustainability of the existing energy usage of the world. While there is currently an abundance of non-renewable energy sources, such as nuclear fuels, these energy sources are depleting. In addition to being a non-renewable supply, the non-renewable energy sources release emissions into the air, which has an adverse effect on the environment.

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