Wind mill gearbox design and optimization
Harnessing the power of the wind is nothing new for humankind. In past, sail of ships used wind power for exploration, classic wind mills often used for pumping water. With depleting traditional energy resources, wind power became promising energy of future. Modern windmills, convert the wind energy into electrical energy.
Wind gearboxes are a critical part of turbine as they translate relatively slow-moving rotation from the large blades to a much higher rotational speed needed for the onboard electrical generator. A challenge faced in their design is that as the gearbox operates, a large amount of heat is generated at the bearing and mesh contact. Suitable cooling system must be incorporated to prevent the gear box from overheating which will cause severe damage to gear box. Cooling and lubrication system involves hundreds of small components which significantly contribute to pressure drop. Engineers at ZF Wind power created a digital twin of cooling and lubrication system by simply connecting ready to use components, and optimized for better performance. Simcenter Flomaster helped in streamlining the development process.