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Technology trends of wind power bearings

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After 2005, the market demand increased, and the construction of wind power generation accelerated. Since 2009, the construction of wind power generation has slowed down, but as global environmental protection is highly valued, wind power generation as a renewable energy source (no CO2), the amount of wind turbine assembly may continue to increase.
Different types and sizes of bearings are used in the main shaft, speed-increasing box, and generator. 1 or 2 sets of bearings with an outer diameter of 1 to 2 m are required on the main shaft, depending on the supporting structure. Many bearings with an outer diameter of 0.2 to 2.0 m are used to support the gear shaft of the speed increase box. The generator needs a bearing with an outer diameter of 0.4 ~ 0.6 m to support the rotor shaft.
As the size of wind turbines increases, larger bearings are required and the bearings are required to have higher load-carrying capacity. Next, we will introduce the bearings developed by NSK in response to the above-mentioned needs.
Spindle bearing
The main shaft bearing supporting the blade bears the large radial and axial load transmitted from the blade to the speed-increasing box, so it should have high rigidity.
A typical main shaft structure of a wind turbine is a three-point support structure supported by a single set of bearings. This structure uses a spherical roller bearing as the main shaft bearing.
As the wind turbines become larger and larger, the load acting on the bearings also becomes larger. Large-scale wind turbines use 2 sets of bearings to support the main shaft. The structure adopts single-row or double-row tapered roller bearings, single-row cylindrical roller bearings and spherical roller bearings.
The spindle speed is low (8 ~ 15 r/min), so the lubrication state of grease-lubricated bearings is poor. More importantly, the spherical roller bearing will undergo differential sliding, causing bearing wear and damage. NSK uses DLC coating to effectively reduce this wear, and this method is under evaluation.

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