Wind Turbine Tribology Seminar - A Recap

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


Tribology is the science and engineering of interacting surfaces in relative motion. It includes the study and application of the principles of friction, lubrication, and wear. It is an important phenomenon that not only impacts the design and operation of wind turbine gearboxes, but also their subsequent maintenance requirements and overall reliability. With the major growth and increasingdependency on renewable energy, mechanical reliability is an extremely important issue. The Wind Turbine Tribology Seminar was convened to explore the state-of-the-art in wind turbine tribology and lubricant technologies, raise industry awareness of a very complex topic, present the science behind each technology, and identify possible R&D areas. To understand the background of work that hadalready been accomplished, and to consolidate some level of collective understanding of tribology by acknowledged experts, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) hosted a wind turbine tribology seminar. It was held at the Renaissance Boulder Flatiron Hotel in Broomfield, Colorado on November 15-17, 2011. Thisreport is a summary of the content and conclusions. The presentations given at the meeting can be downloaded at: Interested readers who were not at the meeting may wish to consult the detailed publications listed in the bibliography section, obtain the cited articles in the public domain, or contact the authors directly.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages55
StatePublished - 2012

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-5000-53754

Other Report Number

  • DOE/GO-102011-3496


  • Gearbox Reliability Collaborative (GRC)
  • GRC
  • tribology
  • tribology seminar
  • wind
  • wind energy
  • wind turbines


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