The role of bearings in wind turbines
Author: SAIVS Date Published: Jul 17,2023
What is wind turbines
Wind turbines are machines that convert the kinetic energy from wind into electrical energy,
thus making it possible to generate power from a renewable and non-polluting source.
Large modern wind turbines consist of three main parts: the rotor, the generator, and the tower.
The rotor, consisting of two or three blades and a hub,
captures the kinetic energy from the wind and converts it into rotational motion.
This rotational motion is then transmitted, through a gearbox and a high-speed shaft,
to the generator, where it is converted into electrical energy.
Finally, the tower provides support for the entire wind turbine structure,
raising the rotor and the generator to a height where they can take advantage of higher wind speeds.
The importance of bearing
The use of bearings in wind turbines is crucial for their proper operation.
Bearings are used in the rotor hub, the gearbox,
and the generator to allow for rotation of the various components with minimal friction.
The bearings used in wind turbines need to be able to withstand the high loads
and speeds that are present in these applications while also being able to operate with minimal maintenance and downtime.
Types of bearing
These bearings are the most commonly used type and consist of a ball held in place by an inner and outer ring.
Ball bearings are able to handle both radial and axial loads
and are suitable for applications where high-speed rotation is required.
These bearings are similar to ball bearings but use cylindrical or tapered rollers instead of balls.
Roller bearings are better able to handle heavier loads and are often used in applications where shock loads are present.
Spherical Roller Bearings
These bearings use two rows of barrel-shaped rollers and are able to handle very heavy loads and misalignment of shafts.
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