Experimental evaluation of the mesh load factor ( K 3) of a 6MW wind turbine gearbox

Unai Gutierrez Santiago*, Alfredo Fernández Sisón, Henk Polinder, Jan Willem Van Wingerden

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articleScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
62 Downloads (Pure)


The significant increase in rotor diameters seen in modern wind turbines has pushed gearbox manufacturers to introduce technological innovations to increase the torque density of current designs. Driven by the need to lower the cost of energy from wind and size limitations imposed by logistic constraints in onshore wind, a trend has emerged to increase the number of planetary stages and the number of planet gears per stage. One of the main challenges of next-generation gearbox designs is sharing the load evenly between a high number of planets. This paper presents an experimental evaluation of the mesh load factor of a modern 6MW wind turbine gearbox with five planets in the first planetary stage. Results from the traditional method, based on tooth root strain gauges, and from strain measurements in the outer surface of the ring gear are described and assessed. Both experimental approaches have yielded lower mesh load factor values than the default values required in the standard "Design requirements for wind turbine gearboxes"IEC 61400-4. Since the mesh load factor is used for gear rating and sizing, a lower value allows a more optimized gearbox design, which leads to a significant improvement in torque density and cost.

Original languageEnglish
Article number032003
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Physics: Conference Series
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2022
Event2022 Science of Making Torque from Wind, TORQUE 2022 - Delft, Netherlands
Duration: 1 Jun 20223 Jun 2022

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