Bearing monitoring in the wind turbine drivetrain

A comparative study of the FFT and wavelet transforms

Document identifier: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-77861
Access full text here:10.1002/we.2491
Keyword: Engineering and Technology, Mechanical Engineering, Tribology (Interacting Surfaces including Friction, Lubrication and Wear), Teknik och teknologier, Maskinteknik, Tribologi (ytteknik omfattande friktion, nötning och smörjning), Bearing failure, Condition monitoring, Discrete wavelet transform, Wavelet packet transform, Wind turbine gearbox bearings, Machine Elements, Maskinelement
Publication year: 2020
Abstract:

Wind turbines are often plagued by premature component failures, with drivetrain bearings being particularly subjected to these failures. To identify failing components, vibration condition monitoring has emerged and grown substantially. The fast Fourier transform (FFT) is the major signal processing method of vibrations. Recently, the wavelet transforms have been used more frequently in bearing vibration research, with one alternative being the discrete wavelet transform (DWT). Here, the low‐frequency component of the signal is repeatedly decomposed into approximative and detailed coefficients using a predefined mother wavelet. An extension to this is the wavelet packet transform (WPT), which decomposes the entire frequency domain and stores the wavelet coefficients in packets. How wavelet transforms and FFT compare regarding fault detection in wind turbine drivetrain bearings has been largely overlooked in literature when applied on field data, with non‐ideal placement of sensors and uncertain parameters influencing the measurements. This study consists of a comprehensive comparison of the FFT, a three‐level DWT, and the WPT when applied on enveloped vibration measurements from two 2.5‐MW wind turbine gearbox bearing failures. The frequency content is compared by calculating a robust condition indicator by summation of the harmonics and shaft speed sidebands of the bearing fault frequencies. Results show a higher performance of the WPT when used as a field vibration measurement analysis tool compared with the FFT as it detects one bearing failure earlier and more clearly, leading to a more stable alarm setting and avoidable, costly false alarms.

Authors

Daniel Strömbergsson

Luleå tekniska universitet; Maskinelement
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Pär Marklund

Luleå tekniska universitet; Maskinelement
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Kim Berglund

Luleå tekniska universitet; Maskinelement
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Per-Erik Larsson

Industrial Digitalisation & Solutions, SKF (Sweden), Luleå, Sweden
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