Long-Term Probability Distribution of Wind Turbine Planetary Bearing Loads (Poster)

Research output: NRELPoster


Among the various causes of bearing damage and failure, metal fatigue of the rolling contact surface is the dominant failure mechanism. The fatigue life is associated with the load conditions under which wind turbines operate in the field. Therefore, it is important to understand the long-term distribution of the bearing loads under various environmental conditions. The National Renewable EnergyLaboratory's 750-kW Gearbox Reliability Collaborative wind turbine is studied in this work. A decoupled analysis using several computer codes is carried out. The global aero-elastic simulations are performed using HAWC2. The time series of the drivetrain loads and motions from the global dynamic analysis are fed to a drivetrain model in SIMPACK. The time-varying internal pressure distributionalong the raceway is obtained analytically. A series of probability distribution functions are then used to fit the long-term statistical distribution at different locations along raceways. The long-term distribution of the bearing raceway loads are estimated under different environmental conditions. Finally, the bearing fatigue lives are calculated.
Original languageAmerican English
StatePublished - 2013

Publication series

NamePresented at the WINDPOWER 2013 Conference, 5-8 May 2013, Chicago, Illinois

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/PO-5000-58180


  • bearings
  • fatigue
  • life
  • NREL
  • wind turbine


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