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Wind Energy Science The interactive open-access journal of the European Academy of Wind Energy
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https://doi.org/10.5194/wes-2020-26
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/wes-2020-26
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 06 Feb 2020

Submitted as: research article | 06 Feb 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal WES.

Fatigue lifetime calculation of wind turbine blade bearings considering blade-dependent load distribution

Oliver Menck, Matthias Stammler, and Florian Schleich Oliver Menck et al.
  • Fraunhofer IWES, 21029 Hamburg, Germany

Abstract. Rotating bearings are some of the most commonly employed machine elements. As such, they are well-understood and thoroughly researched pieces of technology. Fatigue lifetime calculation is internationally standardized through ISO 281 which is based on the assumption that loads act on a bearing under constant rotation. Blade bearings of wind turbines do not conform to this assumption, since their movement typically consists of small, repetitive oscillations. Moreover, their load distribution differs considerably over the bearing circumference, a load case for which ISO 281 refers to ISO 16281 and which requires detailed simulations of the bearing to be sufficiently precise. Aside from ISO 16281, the NREL DG03, a guideline for pitch and yaw bearing lifetime, lists two methods for incorporating bearing loads into the fatigue life calculation. This paper compares all three methods. Load distributions in the bearing are simulated and interpolated by means of a novel approach. The method from NREL DG03 which requires the least computational effort is shown to result in a much higher lifetime than the other two, which are based on internal load distributions of the bearing. The two latter methods are shown to produce very similar results. An adjustment is proposed for increasing the accuracy of that lifetime calculation method which requires the least computational effort in order to resemble the other two more closely.

Oliver Menck et al.

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Oliver Menck et al.

Oliver Menck et al.

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