1 Fluid Power and Mechatronic Systems, The Faculty of Engineering and Science, Aalborg University, VBN2 Department of Energy Technology, The Faculty of Engineering and Science, Aalborg University, VBN3 The Faculty of Engineering and Science, Aalborg University, VBN4 National Renewable Energy Laboratory5 National Renewable Energy Laboratory
With the increasing size of wind turbines and with increasing lifetime demands, new methods for load reduction in the turbines need to be examined. One method is to make the yaw system of the turbine flexible, thereby dampening the loads to the system. This paper presents a hydraulic soft yaw concept and investigates the effect this has on critical loads in the turbine. To analyze the system, a novel friction model is developed and implemented for the yaw system using the NREL 5-MW turbine in the aerodynamic code FAST. Based on this model, the influence of friction is investigated and the results on load reduction for three different design load cases are presented and discussed. From the investigation, it is found that load reductions of up to 40% on fatigue loads and 37% on ultimate loads are possible when considering the yaw system.