Gearbox High-Speed-Stage Bearing Slip Induced by Electric Excitation in a Test Facility

Jonathan Keller, Yi Guo, Jan Helsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus Citations


The goal of this paper is to investigate the behaviour of the high-speed stage of a wind turbine gearbox during transient grid-loss events triggered at different power levels in a full-scale nacelle dynamometer test. The gear mesh behaviour and the bearing roller slip during these events are characterized by strain measurements placed in the gear teeth roots and embedded in the outer rings of the tapered roller bearing locating pair. From our experiments, we conclude that the high-speed stage experiences a multidimensional loading consisting of bending and torsional deformation during the transient event. This loading propagates throughout the gearbox and results in unfavourable loading conditions at the bearing that have the potential to go beyond the preload during the torque reversals that occur during the grid-loss event. During the torque reversal, roller slip can occur in the bearings. It is observed that the slip behaviour is directly linked to the initial power level of the generator. Electrically induced excitation that typically leads to dynamic torque events can therefore cause mechanical gearbox degradation.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1191-1201
Number of pages11
JournalWind Energy
Issue number11
StatePublished - 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5000-70713


  • bearing
  • dynamics
  • electric excitation
  • high-speed-stage
  • slip
  • wind energy


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