January 27, 2011

Yaw drives donated to the Wind Tech program.

Pictured here with the yaw drives is (back to front): Jeremy Cordova – Sterling, Neil Browne – instructor, Anthony Boltjes – Sidney, NE, Boyd Padilla – Sterling, Frank Pridemore – Sterling,  Kirk Kokes – Crook, Kent Greentree – La Veta , Robbie Helvie – Sterling, Sean Fritzler – Sterling, John Deter – Ft. Collins, Clay Rainbolt – Greeley and Johnny Torrez – Ft. Morgan (Courtesy Photo) 

Nextera Energy Resources  has donated three yaw drives from a GE 1.5 MW wind turbine generator to the wind technology program at Northeastern Junior College. Students in the program had a chance to look the drives over when they were delivered to the training facility right before Christmas break.

Each drive consists of a  575 volt AC motor, a clutch brake, and a three  stage planetary gear drive reduction unit. They weigh in at 1,300 pounds each.  It is these yaw gear units that are used to drive the nacelle around and make sure the turbine stays pointed into the wind. In normal operations, there are a total of four of these drives on each turbine.

According to Nextera officials, the turbine that these drives came from operated on three for quite a while and was at the end of a warranty, so they were pulled out and four new drives were installed.

“While these yaw drives are still in working order, we will probably not have an opportunity to actually run them because getting 575 VAC/3 wired into our training building is not likely,”  explains Neil Browne, “still, they are very valuable teaching tools for us.” He said that the wind technology students will gain experience with these drives by checking the wiring of the motors, disassembling and reassembling the gear units, doing oil changes for the gear drives, and applying proper torque in reassembly.

Nextera and other energy companies have been very generous in helping provide teaching tools for the program which is now in its’ second year.  The students in the program have actually spent time out on some of the Nextera towers that are part of the Peetz project.