Experimental Investigation of Bearing Slip in a Wind Turbine Gearbox During a Transient Grid Loss Event

Jonathan Keller, Yi Guo, Jan Helsen, Patrick Guillaume

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus Citations


This work investigates the behaviour of the high-speed stage of a wind turbine gearbox during a transient grid loss event. Dynamometer testing on a full-scale wind turbine nacelle is used. A combination of external and internal gearbox measurements are analysed. Particular focus is on the characterization of the high-speed shaft tapered roller bearing slip behaviour. This slipping behaviour is linked to dynamic events by many researchers and described as a potential bearing failure initiator; however, only limited full-scale dynamic testing is documented. Strain gauge bridges in grooves along the circumference of the outer ring are used to characterize the bearing behaviour in detail. It is shown that during the transient event the high-speed shaft experiences a combined torsional and bending deformation. These unfavourable loading conditions induce roller slip in the bearings during the torque reversals, indicating the potential of the applied load case to go beyond the preload of the tapered roller bearing.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)2255-2269
Number of pages15
JournalWind Energy
Issue number12
StatePublished - 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5000-65451


  • bearing slip
  • dynamics
  • emergency stop
  • grid loss
  • modal analysis
  • signal processing
  • wind turbine


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