Warner Provides Brakes For Large Wind Turbines

Warner's ERS series of spring-engaged, electrically released brakes is helping to further the growth of wind energy by providing the braking function for large turbines under maximum wind conditions. The modified brakes operate as pitch brakes in wind-turbine applications that require static holding power and the ability to withstand high-inertia dynamic stopping in emergency situations. They are mounted outboard of an inductive encoder, which is fitted to the back of a motor to position the blades to the correct pitch.

The ERS series units have a one-piece design, which is fully enclosed and painted to withstand extreme environmental conditions, such as salt spray, condensation and water. In normal operation, the ERS brakes function as a static brake to hold the blades from rotating in a power-off situation, during routine maintenance or for inspection purposes. However, the design specification produced for one manufacturer requires the brake to also be able to make 1,000 fully loaded dynamic stops during its service life.

The largest in the Warner Electric ERS series, the ERS68 brake offers 100ft/lbs of static torque, with a maximum of 2,000rpm and a brake release time of 0.2sec. The ERS68 weighs 5kg and has been tested to a capacity of more than 20,000 fully loaded dynamic stops, surpassing the design specification by a factor of 20. Warner Electric has also developed a series of static holding brakes as part of its comprehensive package for wind turbines.

The static brakes meet the design criteria for controlling yaw when the wind-turbine nacel is positioned into the wind. For this technically simpler application, the yaw brakes are also mounted on the back end of a motor. Solutions for other smaller wind-turbine applications have also been solved using Warner Electric brakes. These include the Vertical Axis Wind Turbine and the Wind Wall, an urban wind turbine designed to be sited on roofs or on the sides of buildings in windy city areas.


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