Ultimate design load analysis of planetary gearbox bearings under extreme events

Juan Felipe Gallego Calderon, Anand Natarajan, Nicolaos Antonio Cutululis

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


This paper investigates the impact of extreme events on the planet bearings of a 5 MW gearbox. The system is simulated using an aeroelastic tool, where the turbine structure is modeled, and MATLAB/Simulink, where the drivetrain (gearbox and generator) are modeled using a lumped-parameter approach. Three extreme events are assessed: low-voltage ride through, emergency stop and normal stop. The analysis is focused on finding which event has the most negative impact on the bearing extreme radial loads. The two latter events are carried out following the guidelines of the International Electrotechnical Commission standard 61400-1. The former is carried out by applying a voltage fault while simulating the
wind turbine under normal turbulent wind conditions. The voltage faults are defined by following the guidelines from four different grid codes in order to assess the impact on the bearings. The results show that the grid code specifications have a dominant role in the maximum loads achieved by the bearings during a low-voltage ride through. Moreover, the emergency brake shows the highest impact by increasing the bearing loads up to three times the rated value.
Original languageEnglish
JournalWind Energy
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)325–343
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Bearings
  • Extreme Loads
  • Low-voltage ride through
  • Gearbox
  • Generator
  • Wind turbine
  • Emergency stop

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