Wind turbine drive trains consist of mechanical components, such as the gearbox, the bearings, and the rotating shaft, and an electrical component, such as the electric generator. These components are electromagnetically and electromechanically coupled with each other and have continuously rotating parts, making them more susceptible to faults. Unfortunately, these components are individually modeled while performing finite element analysis (FEA), and the coupling effects are neglected, yielding approximations that are not acceptable for, e.g., modal analysis. This article addresses the issue and presents an FEA model of the complete wind turbine drive train subsystem. Here, a unique co-simulation platform was developed to integrate and analyze the mechanical and electrical components of the drive train. The case studies performed here report the existence of electromagnetic coupling among the components of the drive train by simulating various faults, such as broken gearbox tooth and demagnetization of permanent magnets and studying their influence on the magnetic flux of the electric generator. This article offers new insights on motivation, applications, and the importance of FEA modeling of the entire wind turbine drive train, and how it could be critical to non-destructive evaluations and fault detections on the wind turbines.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering
- finite element analysis (FEA)
- magnetic flux density (MFD) evaluation
- wind turbine drive trains