Powertrain simulation tool

Written by: Laura Hopperton | Published:

Four companies have collaborated to develop new simulation software designed to calculate the dynamic operating loads acting on wind turbine powertrains.

Used in combination with Finite Element Analysis (FEA) tools, the new multi body simulation (MBS) model is said to enable designers to optimise the design of individual powertrain components and establish how these interact with other systems across the entire powertrain. The simulation tool, which can be used at the initial wind turbine design stage, has been designed to help make wind turbine designs more reliable and cost effective under a wide variety of load conditions.

The four partners involved in the project are rolling bearing manufacturer Schaeffler Group, gearbox supplier Eickhoff Antriebstechnik, wind turbine maker Repower Systems and software company Samtech Iberica.

The simplified models are said to consider only the effects of load over time for specific internal stress variables, independently rather than for all powertrain components and how they interact. This means that complex units, such as gearboxes, which have multiple dynamic components, are treated as a 'black box'.

One of the core software applications behind the new MBS model is BEARINX, a rolling bearing calculation software tool developed by Schaeffler. This software is said to be able to generate dynamic simulation models for complete gearboxes in rapid time, allowing the respective results to be visualised.

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