Rolling Element Bearing Dynamics in Wind Turbines

Research output: NRELPresentation


There are unique reliability challenges related to wind turbine drivetrains. Predominant failure modes are not accounted for in design standards, not attributable to material deficiencies or quality control, and are complex and independent of the component supplier. The team conducted testing and analysis to enable improvement of inherent reliability, an increase of availability with less effort and drama, and a reduction in wind plant operation and maintenance costs. The analytic model was validated through uptower experiments, and the bearing speed was directly affected by drivetrain load and speed. Bearing sliding is widely present during regular turbine operations and significant sliding occurs during transient events, which can lead to bearing failures and shortened life.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages15
StatePublished - 2018

Publication series

NamePresented at the 2018 American Society of Mechanical Engineers International Design Engineering Technical Conferences Meeting, 26-29 August 2018, Quebec City, Canada

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/PR-5000-72185


  • bearing speed
  • drivetrain reliability
  • gearbox
  • loads
  • wind energy


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