Effect of flexible pin on the dynamic behaviors of wind turbine planetary gear drives

Caichao Zhu, Xiangyang Xu, Teik Chin Lim, Xuesong Du, Mingyong Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Flexible pins eliminate the need for straddle mounting, and therefore enable the maximum possible number of planets to be used for any particular epicyclic ratio of power transmission systems. Having more planet gears will significantly increase the input torque density. In this type of design, the pin stiffness and position tolerances are important parameters as they affect the dynamic performances significantly. The present study addresses this issue by modeling, the design of double cantilevered flexible pin, and analyzing the contributions of pin stiffness and misalignment applying the lumped parameter approach. The proposed model formulates the coupled lateral-torsional dynamic response of a planetary spur gear, including the effects of mesh stiffness and phasing as a function of pin error. The resultant equations of motion are applied to examine the effects of pin stiffness and position errors on the natural modes and structural dynamic response. The effects of pin stiffness on deviation of the tooth contact forces of the sun-planet and ring-planet gear pairs are analyzed to understand the relationship between mesh characteristic and input speed variations. The calculated supporting forces of the planet gear are examined to understand the load sharing characteristic due to pin errors, pin stiffness and input load of the power transmission system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)74-86
Number of pages13
JournalProceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part C: Journal of Mechanical Engineering Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2013
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Mechanical Engineering


  • Planetary gear
  • dynamic mesh force
  • flexible pin
  • gear misalignment error
  • load sharing
  • mesh stiffness


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