Wind Turbine Control: Harnessing Mother Nature Using Caliper Brakes
Mother Nature is on the job in 41 U.S. states, delivering power to utilities via wind energy. But she only supplies the wind that makes the turbines go round and round. It’s up to humans to direct and control the process, and sometimes that requires no-fail stopping power. And caliper disc brakes are the go-to choice when it comes to wind turbine control.
Different Brakes for Different Needs
Wind turbines twirl in two directions. The propeller blades capture the wind, rotating to drive the turbine. But they have to be facing into the wind to work efficiently, so the turbine has to swivel, or yaw, to follow changing wind direction. Each of these movements requires a different type of braking for efficient wind turbine control.
Rotor brakes control speed when the wind is blowing too fast. This is critical to protecting system components from damage that can occur in excessively windy conditions. Spring-applied brakes work best here because they have the greatest capacity to function as a fail-safe in emergency situations. If a component becomes damaged, or there is no power, the wind turbine must be stopped immediately.
Yaw brakes adjust the turbine’s direction so that it is always working at peak efficiency. Larger, active brakes work best for this because they can smoothly slow movement as well as stop. This brief video explains more about the two types of wind turbine brakes.
Built to Order
W.C. Branham makes four types of caliper disc brakes for wind turbine control:
So, which style is the best choice for your application? That depends on your application’s specific performance requirements as well as the service type. You can see a quick comparison of most of our models here. Correct size depends on how much stopping power you need. To help you choose, we’ve created this handy wind turbine brake sizing worksheet.
At W.C. Branham, we’ve been helping customers meet the challenges of the wind turbine braking for many years. We know you may require customized modifications to any of our products or even something designed just for your application.
Custom or not, all of our wind turbine brakes are built to order, and they’re out the door fast.
Reliability in More Ways Than One
We know that nothing is more frustrating (or expensive) than waiting for an overseas order to arrive. Delays can happen anywhere along the line, including U.S. Customs. But W.C. Branham products are made right here in America, and our Wisconsin location ensures fast delivery to every corner of the country.
If you're looking for a wind turbine braking system, we're happy to help.