Upgraded rotor bearings offer improved wind-turbine efficiency

By WPED Contributor By Andreas Bierlein, Schaeffler Technologies GmbH & Co. KG& Antonio Silverio, Schaeffler Group USA Inc.
In an effort to increase the reliability, durability and efficiency of wind turbines, Schaeffler has upgraded its entire lineup of spherical roller bearings (SRBs) for the turbine’s rotor shaft.
By using data compiled from 10,000 wind turbines, a thorough investigation was performed on several damage patterns and appropriate countermeasures and solutions were developed. These new SRB designs offer high wear resistance and considerably lower friction torque and operating temperatures — thereby significantly extending the turbine’s operating life.
Rotor shaft bearings are subjected to a range of dynamic loads,

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