Wind Turbine Gearbox Oil Filtration and Condition Monitoring: NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory)

Research output: NRELPresentation


This is an invited presentation for a pre-conference workshop, titled advances and opportunities in lubrication: wind turbine, at the 2015 Society of Tribologists and Lubrication Engineers (STLE) Tribology Frontiers Conference held in Denver, CO. It gives a brief overview of wind turbine gearbox oil filtration and condition monitoring by highlighting typical industry practices and challenges. The presentation starts with an introduction by covering recent growth of global wind industry, reliability challenges, benefits of oil filtration and condition monitoring, and financial incentives to conduct wind operation and maintenance research, which includes gearbox oil filtration and condition monitoring work presented herein. Then, the presentation moves on to oil filtration by stressing the benefits of filtration, discussing typical main- and offline-loop practices, highlighting important factors considered when specifying a filtration system, and illustrating real-world application challenges through a cold-start example. In the next section on oil condition monitoring, a discussion on oil sample analysis, oil debris monitoring, oil cleanliness measurements and filter analysis is given based on testing results mostly obtained by and at NREL, and by pointing out a few challenges with oil sample analysis. The presentation concludes with a brief touch on future research and development (R and D) opportunities. It is hoping that the information presented can inform the STLE community to start or redirect their R and D work to help the wind industry advance.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages33
StatePublished - 2015

Publication series

NamePresented at the 2015 Tribology Frontiers Conference, 25 October 2015, Denver, Colorado

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/PR-5000-65388


  • gearboxes
  • oil condition monitoring
  • oil filtration
  • wind turbine


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