Report of the Condition of a General Electric Transportation Systems Gearbox

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


Wind power plant operations and maintenance (O&M) costs remain an appreciable contributor to the overall cost of wind energy. Premature of wind turbine gearboxes failures are often a result of abrasive wear, micropitting, scuffing, white-etch cracks, and macropitting issues. Micropitting is a fatigue phenomenon that occurs in Hertzian contacts in both gears and rolling-element bearings that operate in mixed or micro elastohydrodynamic lubrication regimes. Micropitting is influenced by and manifests itself in many different ways depending on operating conditions such as load, speed and operating temperature, and on factors such as gear geometry and accuracy, tooth flank roughness, percentage of tooth sliding, and lubricant composition. Despite much research by many investigators, micropitting remains complex, unpredictable, and difficult to control and remains a problem in wind turbine gearboxes. The purpose of this report is to document and describe the micropitting damage observed in a wind turbine gearbox, thereby facilitating further analysis and examination in future reports.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages22
StatePublished - 2020

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-5000-76004


  • wind energy
  • wind power plants


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