Condition monitoring of wind turbine gearboxes has mainly relied upon vibration, oil analysis and temperature monitoring. However, these techniques are not well suited for detecting early stage damage. Acoustic emission is gaining ground as a complementary condition monitoring technique as it offers earlier fault detection capability compared with other more established techniques. The objective of early fault detection in wind turbine gearboxes is to avoid unexpected catastrophic breakdowns, thereby reducing maintenance costs and increase safety. The aim of this investigation is to present an experimental study the impact of operational conditions (load and torque) in the acoustic emission activity generated within the wind turbine gearbox. The acoustic emission signature for a healthy wind turbine gearbox was obtained as a function of torque and power output, for the full range of operational conditions. Envelope analysis was applied to the acoustic emission signals to investigate repetitive patterns and correlate them with specific gearbox components. The analysis methodology presented herewith can be used for the reliable assessment of wind turbine gearbox subcomponents using acoustic emission.
|Journal||Journal of Low Frequency Noise Vibration and Active Control|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Mar 2016|