ContiTech MEGI - Press Releases

Maximum Efficiency in Wind Power Generation

Husum, September 21, 2010ContiTech presents new simulation and measurement techniques for function and lifetime optimized components for wind power generators

Taller towers, longer rotor blades, more power – the market for wind power is being increasingly dominated by larger-capacity wind turbines generating 2 megawatts and more. But as capacity increases, so do the demands on the drivetrain, the heart of the wind turbine. This is where it is vital to achieve the greatest possible efficiency while keeping costs down, by using reliable, long-lasting components. A modern, perfectly mounted drive system is essential to ensure maximum wind turbine performance because the vibrations and oscillations that occur during operation are extremely hard on the wind machine’s various components. Bearings see to load absorption, the isolation of impacts and vibrations, and the damping of critical resonances emitted by stressed structural parts. At Husum Wind 2010, ContiTech Vibration Control, which has won worldwide recognition as a specialist for vibration control technology, is exhibiting the results of a new series of measurements and simulations conducted on the drivetrain of a 2 MW wind turbine.

With rubber-to-metal bonded products of the traditional SCHWINGMETALL® and MEGI® brands as well as needs-based product solutions for gearbox mounts and generator suspension of wind energy plants as well as other applications, ContiTech offers manufacturers and operators a comprehensive product range and high availability.

Photo: ContiTech

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“Measure, analyze, simulate. These are the crucial steps in attaining a perfect, minimum vibration design of the drivetrain. Using our measuring techniques and simulation processes, we provide the wind energy produc-ers with key operational data”, says Thomas Knickelmann, manager for the wind energy sector at ContiTech Vibration Control, underlining the signific-ance of the project. “That data provides us with basic information on how to optimize the functions and lifespan of the components. If forms the basis for developing customized parts that guarantee maximum wind turbine effi-ciency.”

Tracking down perfect vibration control

In August this year, ContiTech Vibration Control’s engineers examined the different bearing points of a 2 MW wind turbine drivetrain using special measurement techniques in order to pinpoint the best way of minimizing component fatigue due to vibration. Their attention was focused on the stresses – i.e. the respective accelerations (structure-borne noise) and deflections (travel) – acting on the main bearing, the gearbox and the gene-rator in various frequency ranges. The amplitude and frequency of acceleration loads on the drivetrain can be determined just as well as the low-frequency movements of the components, the isolating performance of the elastic bearings, and the natural frequencies of the drivetrain.

“We applied 28 acceleration sensors to the drivetrain to measure the structure-borne noise. Recording of the time data from a total of 95 measuring channels was performed online by a multi-channel measurement system. This allowed us to analyze that data and produce an exact simulation later offline”, says Hans-Jürgen Karkosch, head of advanced development at ContiTech Vibration Control, explaining the process. Compared to the time required for setting up the measurement system and putting it into operation, total measuring time was fairly concentrated and took place during various short-time measurements always when the wind was strong enough. ContiTech Vibration Control conducted the measurements during continuous power infeed into the electricity distribution network as well as during the starting and stopping of the wind turbine so as to be able to precisely reproduce the diverse loads occurring in wind power generators. These measurements enable the engineers to perform an operating deflection shape analysis, and ultimately to precisely model and design the drivetrain components. And, for the manufacturers, this means one thing in particular: maximum efficiency for their wind power generators.

With rubber-to-metal bonded products of the traditional SCHWINGMETALL® and MEGI® brands as well as needs-based product solutions for gearbox mounts and generator suspension of wind energy plants as well as other applications, ContiTech offers manufacturers and operators a comprehensive product range and high availability.

Photo: ContiTech

Image download
(JPG, RGB, 300dpi, app. 24x18cm, 1.12MB)

Cheek to cheek with the wind – development expertise from ContiTech

ContiTech has decades of experience with controlled process manufacturing of mounting components for industrial applications. As a development partner for vibration control technology, the company offers German engineering skills combined with the competence born of decades of involvement in the manufacture and processing of elastomer materials. ContiTech gives individual attention to the specific needs of each and every manufacturer, thus ensuring tailor-made mounting systems from one single source. Throughout the entire process, from the technical configuration via computer simulation, measurement, analysis and development, sample production, field trials and testing through to volume production, ContiTech’s customers benefit from synergy effects achieved within the Continental corporation as a whole. This applies to testing methods and material development, but also to delivery reliability. Working together with its customers, ContiTech’s primary goal is to develop optimized elastomer components that deliver maximum lifetime, and to put those components into service.

 

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Anja Graf

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Antje Lewe

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