Gearboxes and generators inside the nacelle are often mounted on vibration isolators. These anti-vibration mounts should reduce vibration amplitude, lower structure-borne noise levels, and extend equipment life - all important factors to the wind industry. Untamed vibration shortens major component life, loosens bolts, causes weld failures, and contributes to gear and bearing failures. Because nacelles are perched 200 to 300-ft up and at the end of a swaying tower, equipment mounts must work reliably for long periods to minimize maintenance.
Noise and vibration attenuation are key considerations driving a need for vibration isolation systems that are easy to install, provide a long service life, and reduce the transmission of noise and vibration.
Large vibration isolators provide a 'soft' attachment between the gearbox, nacelle, and tower structures to interrupt the noise path, reducing stress on large, expensive components, and eliminating critical vibration modes that could cause structural damage. Torque-restraining mounts that react to torque and provide isolation have also been designed.
Collaboratively designing anti-vibration mounts for precise performance and long service life with no maintenance required, our engineers can create products to meet almost any specification. Laminated rod ends, bearings and bushings are highly reliable and have provided value in many applications.
Noise and vibration in smaller turbines are equally troublesome, but solutions differ. For instance, vibration isolators for small turbines are readily available, cost-effective, durable, and maintenance-free. Center-bonded mounts have been used in turbines with generating capacities of 100 kW and smaller to isolate most equipment.
These vibration isolation mounts have been field-tested, resulting in a unit that ran quieter and lasted longer. Peripheral equipment in the nacelle, such as electrical cabinets, enclosures, and wire harnesses can also benefit from vibration isolation. Wiring-connector failures are just one example of common failures due to excessive vibration.
Standard, readily available vibration isolation devices are commercially available for these applications. Center-bonded mounts, plateforms, grommets, and bushings are just a few of the possible isolation solutions - see our full catalog of standard vibration isolators. All have been field-proven in a wide variety of similar industrial and aerospace applications.
Rotating components in turbine drivetrains also present challenging reliability issues. One solution to drivetrain component-life issues in similar equipment is to apply torsionally soft couplings to reduce variable torque and tune away harmful resonances. Side benefits to this solution include reduced drive-train noise and improved life of the rotating component. To learn more, visit flexible couplings for wind turbines.