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R&D project

Traceable measurement of drivetrain components for renewable energy systems (DriveTrain)

Period of the project

Start: September 2014
End:  August 2017

Description of the project

Today, electric energy is mainly generated by fossil resources, but when it will be exhausted during the next generations, renewable energy resources will be essential. Wind energy systems are regarded as one of the most promising technologies for the generation of renewable energy. Unfortunately at present there are only a few wind energy systems that reach the desired lifetime of 20 years without at least two failures of mechanical components (such as bearings, shafts and gears). In order to guarantee and to improve the reliability, the efficiency and a long during lifetime, it is important to optimize and to standardize these mechanical components.


Up to now, neither national metrology institutes nor calibration services offer calibrated measuring standards for large drivetrain components.  This project focusses on traceable 1D-3D measurements (of size, form, waviness and surface roughness) on highly accurate drivetrain components. These are, for instance, shafts up to 3 m in length and 1 m in diameter, bearings up to 3 m, internal and external epicycle gears up to 3 m and brakes up to 1 m. In addition, one task is to develop a virtual measuring process to include all the significant uncertainty contributions from the environment (temperature, gravity), the measuring strategy, the measuring instrument and from the workpiece itself. The developed standards are going to be tested and analyzed critically in industry and in comparison to traditional standards, such as gauge blocks and step gauges.

Project partners

There will be several metrology institutes, industrial companies  and universities working together and supporting the project: Aalto (Finland), CMI (Czech Republic),  DTU (Denmark), INRIM (Italy), MIKES (Finland), NCL (UK), NPL (UK), HexMet (Germany), MDM (Italy), Mitutoyo (Germany), RWTH (Germany), Zeiss (Germany)


Ann-Kathrin Wiemann, M. Sc, Jana Hake, M. Sc. and Dr.-Ing. Karin Kniel