To operate properly, wind turbines need two types of brakes — one to control the rotor speed to protect the system, and another to keep the turbine facing into the wind. W.C. Branham Sales Manager Pete Wold looks at your options for the two types of wind turbine brakes in this edition of Solutions in Motion.
Basic brakes for wind turbines
Rotor Brakes keep the rotor from traveling too fast at high wind speeds. Since high wind speeds can damage critical components, rotor brakes are really used to protect the system.Yaw Brakes are used to keep the wind turbine directed into the wind, which is where it's the most efficient.
The most popular kinds of rotor brakes for wind turbines are spring applied brakes. It's critical that these brakes apply in a fail-safe situation. If there's no power, the brake applies. That's important at high speed. If something's damaged, the brake applies.
On the other hand, the most popular kinds of brakes for yaw braking are larger, active brakes.