Rating of a Pitch Bearing for a 1.5-Megawatt Wind Turbine

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


Slew ring or "pitch" bearings, illustrated in Figure 1, are used in wind turbines to connect the blade root to the hub. They support the resulting simultaneous radial, axial, and overturning moment loads while allowing relative rotation of the blade with respect to the hub. NREL has recently begun a research program related to pitch bearing reliability, recognizing its growing importance for wind turbines. The purpose of this first paper is to describe the rating analysis for a reference pitch bearing representative of that used a 1.5-megawatt (MW) wind turbine. The analysis will serve as a baseline for future finite-element analyses and strain and deflection measurements of an installed pitch bearing. If successful, this work will enable the design and specification of more reliable pitch bearings, a key concern in the long-term operation of land-based wind turbines and new development of offshore wind turbines.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages31
StatePublished - 2022

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-5000-82462


  • megawatt
  • pitch bearing
  • reliability
  • wind turbine


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