Journal of Mechanical Science and Technology

, Volume 33, Issue 1, pp 393–402 | Cite as

Dynamic characteristics and experimental study on a wind turbine gearbox

  • Liang XuEmail author
  • Caichao Zhu
  • Huaiju Liu
  • Guo Chen
  • Wei Long


A gearbox is part of the transmission chain of wind turbine, which can increase rotational speed and reduce torque. Dynamic characteristics of the gearbox directly influence the vibration and the service life of the wind turbine system. In this paper, dynamic behaviors of a megawatt level wind turbine gearbox are studied theoretically and experimentally by dividing the gearbox into a transmission sub-system and a body sub-system. The transmission sub-system, i.e., the gear-shaft-bearing sub-system, is coupled with the gearbox body using bearings which are simulated as mass-less springs. The theoretical study applies a finite element model for the gearbox, where the internal excitations are caused by time-varying stiffness, transmission errors and mesh impacts. The time-varying wind load is considered as the external excitation, collected by a remote real-time online test and transformed into load spectrums through the rain-flow counting method. With boundary conditions and working conditions being defined in the finite element model, the natural characteristic analysis and the dynamic response analysis are conducted. Results show that the operating frequencies of the gearbox are far away from the main natural frequencies of the system, thus avoiding resonances. The main vibration components of the gearbox are with meshing frequencies of the second and third gear stage and their multiplication counterparts. Moreover, the greatest vibration occurs at the bearing housing of the high-speed shaft with the root-mean-square value of its vibration speed less than 3.5 mm/s. A test rig is developed and the experimental vibration conditions are monitored by acceleration sensors. The experimental results are in accordance well with the theoretical results. In this way, the theoretical model is validated. The methodology reported in this paper can provide valuable guidance for practical industrial engineers.


Excitations Wind turbine gearbox Time-varying wind load Dynamic response Test analysis 


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Copyright information

© The Korean Society of Mechanical Engineers and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Liang Xu
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Caichao Zhu
    • 1
  • Huaiju Liu
    • 1
  • Guo Chen
    • 3
  • Wei Long
    • 2
  1. 1.The State Key Laboratory of Mechanical TransmissionChongqing UniversityChongqingPR China
  2. 2.Chongqing Sanfeng Environmental Industry Group Co. Ltd.ChongqingPR China
  3. 3.Chongqing General Aviation Industry Group Co. Ltd.ChongqingPR China

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