A new 100 MW (135,000 Hp) adjustable speed drive system has recently been installed in the NASA Langley National Transonic Facility. The 100 MW system is the largest of its kind in the world and consists of a salient pole synchronous motor powered by a 12-pulse Load Commutated Inverter variable frequency drive. During system commissioning the drive line torsional vibrations were measured with strain gages and a telemetry-based data acquisition system. The torque measurements included drive start-up and steady-state operation at speeds where the drive motor’s pulsating torques match the drive line’s torsional natural frequency. Rapid drive acceleration rates with short dwell times were effective in reducing torsional vibrations during drive starts. Measured peak torsional vibrations during steady-state operation were comparable to predicted values and large enough to produce noticeable lateral vibrations in the drive line shafting. Cyclic shaft stresses for all operating conditions were well within the fatigue limits of the drive line components. A comparison of the torque measurements to an analytical forced response model concluded that a 0.5% critical damping ratio was appropriately applied in the drive line’s torsional analysis.

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