When developing a wind turbine drivetrain the dynamic load challenges facing engineers are not easily solved with conventional tools and techniques. A flexible multi body system formulation must be chosen to accurately and effectively design, test and manufacture these systems.

Resonances occurring when the system operates in certain speed ranges can have dramatic consequences on the fatigue life of system components within the drivetrain over time. Over short periods of time loading from transient extreme load cases such as ‘emergency stops’ can have detrimental consequences on the system’s integrity due to their higher amplitudes. These issues cannot be modelled by a simple static analysis of the loading in the drivetrain.

Key certification bodies that adhere to GL guidelines recognise this and require an analysis to be performed to quantify the increased loads on drivetrain components as a result from resonances within the system. GL guidelines also recommend that accurate simulation models of the drivetrain be used to analyse transient dynamic loading caused by extreme load cases relevant to the drivetrain.

The MASTA suite and its respective module ‘DRIVA for Wind’ provide a complete design and simulation package with a powerful MBD solver to ensure that modern standards for certification are met when designing and developing wind turbine drivetrains. This can be achieved through constructing a detailed dynamic drivetrain model, verifying global model assumptions and then finally simulating & analysing the detailed model all from in within the same software package. A design loop is produced allowing fine adjustments to be made to the design model to then reanalyse quickly and effectively. This process allows for a fast and efficient workflow without the need for exporting and importing models between various software packages.

DRIVA for Wind can also be used to examine transient response to applied loads. Events such as ‘grid loss’ can be fully simulated from the loss of generator torque to the mechanical brakes being applied bringing the blades to a stop.

Get in touch to find out more about DRIVA for Wind and evaluate its full functionality.