What kind of bearings are wind turbine bearings?

Wind turbine bearings are specialized bearings designed to withstand the unique conditions and loads encountered in wind turbines, ther are components that support the rotation and load of the turbine parts. They are used in various places throughout the nacelle, such as the main shaft, the gearbox, the yaw and pitch systems, and the generator.

There are many rotating parts in wind turbines, all of which use bearings. The most important ones are main shaft bearings, yaw bearings and pitch bearings.

Main shaft bearings: 

These bearings support the main shaft of the wind turbine, which connects the rotor hub to the gearbox. They must handle both radial and axial loads and operate under high speeds and variable loads, In other words, the bearing must have good alignment performance. Therefore, wind turbines widely use spherical roller bearings as main shaft bearings. Spindle bearings are mainly composed of spherical roller bearings, bearing seats, and bearing end covers.

wind turbines bearing

Pitch and yaw bearings

Pitch bearings allow the blades to rotate around their axis to optimize the angle of attack relative to the wind, while yaw bearings enable the entire turbine to rotate to face the wind. These bearings must handle significant thrust loads and rotational forces.

Four-point contact ball slew bearings are mostly used in situations where the axial load is large and the overturning moment is large. They are widely used in the yaw bearings and pitch bearings of wind turbines. The diameter of the bearing is larger and the thickness is thinner than the diameter. It is also called a slew bearing.

In addition to being used in yaw bearings and pitch bearings of wind turbines, slewing bearings are also used in heavy equipment such as cranes, tower cranes, metallurgical mining machinery, and the national defense industry.

wind power slewing bearing

Generator bearings: 

These bearings support the rotor shaft of the generator and must handle the high-speed rotation of the rotor while maintaining precise alignment.

Wind turbine bearings are typically large and robust, often using rolling elements such as ball or roller bearings, as well as slewing rings or spherical roller bearings. They are engineered to withstand harsh environmental conditions, including high winds, temperature variations, and exposure to moisture and dust. Additionally, they are designed for long service life and minimal maintenance to ensure the reliability and efficiency of the wind turbine over its operational lifespan.

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