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The "Joint project: Loads on the drive components of wind turbines," the so-called FVA nacelle, was inaugurated at the Center for Wind Power Drives (CWD) at RWTH Aachen. The FVA nacelle was developed through the close cooperation of the university and the member companies of the Forschungsvereinigung Antriebstechnik e.V. (FVA), which include Schaeffler.

The nacelle makes it possible to test the electromechanical drive train of wind turbines in the multi-megawatt range under near-real-life conditions. The test stand permits the FVA member companies to analyse the components in the entire system along the value added chain. Since 2015, the project has been funded for three years by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Technology. Schaeffler has provided a total of 18 gearbox bearings and equipped these cylindrical roller bearings, tapered roller bearings and ball bearings with the relevant measuring technology for determining operating behaviour. This will make it possible to reproduce the impact of the loads on the rotor and all the way to the rolling contacts in the gearbox. The FVA nacelle and the four-megawatt system test stand now permit the impacts of these extreme conditions on the entire system to be determined. The test stand is used to perform turbine inspections and validations as well as to further develop the existing simulation models. The four-megawatt system test stand can simulate various levels of wind fields and network feedback so that components with different operating and load conditions can be analysed. Based on this, scientists and companies want to develop new, valid simulation models and optimise the inspected models. Critical operating conditions will be identified and prevented specifically by adjusting system controls.

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