This paper studies the drivetrain dynamics of a 750 kW spar-type floating wind turbine (FWT). The drivetrain studied is a high-speed generator, one-stage planetary, two-stage parallel and three-point support type. The response analysis is carried out in two steps. First, global aero-hydro-elastic-servo time-domain analyses are performed using HAWC2. The main shaft loads, which include the axial forces, shear forces and bending moments, are obtained in this integrated wind–wave response analysis. These loads are then used as inputs for the multi-body drivetrain time-domain analyses in SIMPACK. The investigations are largely based on comparisons of the main shaft loads and internal drivetrain responses from 1 h simulations. The tooth contact forces, bearing loads and gear deflections are the internal drivetrain response variables studied. The comparisons are based on the mean values, standard deviations and maximum values extrapolated using a 10 − 5 up-crossing rate. Both operational and parked conditions are considered. The investigation consists of three parts. First, the responses are compared between the FWT and its equivalent land-based version. Second, the contributions from the main shaft loads (shear forces, axial forces and bending moments) and nacelle motions are investigated individually. Third, an improved four-point support (4PT) system is studied and compared against the original three-point support system for the FWT. The results show that there are general increases in the standard deviations of the main shaft loads and internal drivetrain responses in the FWT. In addition, these increases are a result of the increased main shaft loads in the FWT, especially the non-torque loads. Last, the 4PT system, when applied to a FWT drivetrain, significantly reduces the tooth contact forces and bearing loads in the low-speed stage, but this result comes at the expense of increased main bearing radial loads. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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