Master Thesis: Calculation of the risk of damage for dynamic load events during the operation of WTs using MBS and damage models

Webseite Chair for Wind Power Drives

The Chair for Wind Power Drives at the RWTH Aachen University conducts research in the field of drivetrain technologies for wind turbines (WT). In numerous research projects throughout past decades, drivetrain technologies as well as vibration analysis of WTs and their drivetrain components have been continuously developed. For the improvement of the reliability of the gearbox of a WT it is very important that there is a fundamental knowledge of the prevalent loads so that it is possible to consider them in the early stages of the product development process.
In order to investigate the drivetrain loads validated multibody dynamics models (MBS) can be used in combination with models for the control, the electronics and the aerodynamics.
The CWD has a validated MBS model of a wind turbine research nacelle which is continuously optimized. Special load events, like grid faults, lead to highly dynamic excitations of the electromagnetic generator torque, which can be detrimental to the gearbox components of the turbine. With the help of damage models and load time series it is possible to calculate the damage risk.
Aim of this work is to methodically quantify the influence of special load events on the risk of damage (e.g. an increase in the risk of smearing in the gearbox bearings). This can be done by using MBS results of the existing drivetrain model as an input for programmed damage models according to state of the art.


  • Familiarization with the existing MBS model of the research nacelle in SIMPACK
  • Load calculation with regard to special load events
  • Programming of damage criteria according to state of the art with MATLAB (e.g. fatigue according to ISO)
  • Verification of the programmed damage model via literature and experimental data
  • Analysis of the load results using the programmed model
  • Evaluation and interpretation of the results


  • Motivation to work independently on technical questions in the field of drivetrain technology
  • Interest in modelling and simulation
  • Prior knowledge of multibody simulation in SIMPACK and programming with MATLAB advantageous but not necessary

We offer:

  • Immediate start and rapid progress of the thesis
  • Intensive supervision
  • Flexible working hours in a young and motivated team


We look forward to your application by email:

Julian Röder, M. Sc. RWTH
Chair for Wind Power Drives

Campus-Boulevard 61, 52074 Aachen

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