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Neodymium Magnets in Wind Turbines & Generators

by Stanford Magnets


All we have already known, the wind turbines & generators can power a house with the electricity converted from wind energy. The application of All we have already known, the wind turbines & generators can power a house with the electricity converted from wind energy. The application of Neodymium Magnets has greatly improved the energy-efficiency of wind turbines & generators. But how do they make all these possible? In this article we focus on the wind turbine structure and the use of NdFeB magnets in generator systems. Until relatively recent years, almost all commercial wind turbines had the same type of powertrain features as shown in Pic. 1: The rotor blades are mounted to a cast-iron hub. The hub is mounted onto the drive shaft which passes the nacelle via a rotor bearing into a mechanical gearbox. The gearbox is then coupled to a doubly fed induction generator that creates magnetic field with two sets of electrically-excited windings. In this system there are no permanent magnets. Pic.1: Conventional commercial-scale wind turbine. 1 - blade; 2 - hub; 3 - rotor bearing; 4 - gearbox; 5 - generator. Under normal conditions, the typical rotor speed for a commercial-scale wind turbine locates between 10 and 20rpm, but the doubly fed induction generator requires much higher rpm (at least 750rpm) to operate properly. Therefore the gearbox is applied to convert the low speed of the rotor into the high speed needed by the generator. However, bigger gearboxes may bring more mechanical problems. According to a specific report in 2007, the majority of gearbox failures originate from the bearings. Without regular maintenance and observation, it doesn



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