The focus of the current paper is on a hydraulic soft yaw system, designed to reduce the loading of the turbine structure, by absorbing wind guest via the hydraulic system, but which also enables the system to be used as a self-aligning yaw system. The system is analyzed with basis in the NREL 5-MW turbine, modeled in FAST, in which a new robust method for implementing Coulomb friction is utilized. Based on this model and a model of the hydraulic system, the influence of friction and wind speed is investigated in relation to the possibility to use the system as a self-aligning yaw system. Similarly the behavior of the hydraulic system is analyzed and it is concluded that the hydraulic yaw system allows selfyaw under normal operating conditions for the turbine. Self-yaw control is possible in wind speeds above 12 m/s when yaw friction is kept below 1 MNm.
Wind Engineering, 2013, Vol 37, Issue 2, p. 165-182