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Wind Energy Science The interactive open-access journal of the European Academy of Wind Energy
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/wes-2019-25
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/wes-2019-25
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: review articles 22 May 2019

Submitted as: review articles | 22 May 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Wind Energy Science (WES).

A review of wind turbine main-bearings: design, operation, modelling, damage mechanisms and fault detection

Edward Hart1, Benjamin Clarke2, Gary Nicholas2, Abbas Kazemi Amiri1, James Stirling1, James Carroll1, Rob Dwyer-Joyce2, Alasdair McDonald1, and Hui Long2 Edward Hart et al.
  • 1Wind Energy & Control Centre, Electronic & Electrical Engineering, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK
  • 2Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK

Abstract. This paper presents a review of existing theory and practice relating to main-bearings for wind turbines. The mainbearing performs the critical role of supporting the turbine rotor, with replacements typically requiring its complete removal. The operational conditions and loading for wind turbine main-bearings deviate significantly from those of more conventional power plants and other bearings present in the wind turbine power-train, i.e. those in the gearbox and generator. This work seeks to thoroughly document current main-bearing theory in order to allow for appraisal of existing design and analysis practices, while also seeking to form a solid foundation for future research in this area. The most common main-bearing setups are presented along with standards for bearing selection and rating. Typical loads generated by a wind turbine rotor, and subsequently reacted at the main-bearing, are discussed. This is followed by the related tribological theories of lubrication, wear and associated failure mechanisms. Finally, existing techniques for bearing modeling, fault diagnosis and prognosis relevant to the main-bearing are presented.

Edward Hart et al.
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Edward Hart et al.
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Short summary
This paper presents a review of existing theory and practice relating to main-bearings for wind turbines. Topics covered include wind conditions and resulting rotor loads, main bearing models, damage mechanisms and fault detection procedures.
This paper presents a review of existing theory and practice relating to main-bearings for wind...
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