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SKF develops high durability roller bearings to continuously improve the performance of wind turbine gearbox bearings

SKF develops high durability roller bearings to continuously improve the performance of wind turbine gearbox bearings
SKF high-endurance bearings increase the torque power density of wind turbine gearboxes, reducing bearing and gear sizes by up to 25% by increasing bearing rated life, and avoiding early bearing failure by improving reliability.

SKF has developed a new roller bearing for wind turbine gearboxes with an industry-leading life rating that significantly reduces gearbox downtime and maintenance time.

SKF has developed a new type of roller bearing for wind turbine gearbox -- high durability wind turbine gearbox bearing

SKF's high durability wind turbine gearbox bearings rely on an optimized combination of tailored steel and heat treatment processes designed to improve fatigue resistance and reliability. The optimized chemical heat treatment process improves the surface and sub-surface properties of bearings.

David Vaes, MANAGER of SKF Wind Turbine Gearbox Management Center, said: "The heat treatment process improves the surface material properties of bearing parts, improves the surface and sub-surface material strength, and effectively responds to high stress application conditions during bearing operation. The performance of rolling bearings depends largely on raw material parameters such as microstructure, residual stress and hardness."

This custom steel and heat treatment process has several benefits: it increases the rated life of the bearing and correspondingly reduces the size of the bearing under the same operating conditions; The bearing capacity of the new bearing is improved to resist the typical failure modes of gearbox bearings, such as early bearing failure modes caused by white corrosion crack (WEC), micro-pitting and wear.

Internal bearing bench tests and calculations show a five-fold increase in bearing life compared to current industry standards. In addition, internal bearing bench testing also demonstrated a 10-fold improvement in the ability to resist early failure caused by WECs of stress origin.

The performance improvements brought by SKF's high durability gearbox bearings mean that bearing sizes can be reduced, helping to increase the torsional power density of the gearbox. This is critical to the design of the latest generation of large megawatt multistage wind turbines.

In a typical 6 MW wind turbine gearbox row star, by using SKF high-endurance gearbox bearings, the size of the planetary gear bearings can be reduced by up to 25% while maintaining the same rated life as industry standard bearings, thereby reducing the size of the planetary gear accordingly.

Similar reduction can be achieved at different locations in the gearbox. At the parallel gear level, a reduction in bearing size will also reduce the risk of skidding abrasion-related types of injuries.

Preventing typical failure patterns helps gearbox manufacturers, fan manufacturers and service providers improve product reliability and reduce unplanned downtime and maintenance costs.

These new features help reduce the energy equalization cost (LCoE) of wind and support the wind industry as a cornerstone of the future energy mix.

About SKF

SKF entered the Chinese market in 1912, in the service of automobile, railway, aviation, new energy, heavy industry, machine tools, logistics, medical and so on more than 40 industries, is now evolving into a knowledge, technology and data driven company, is committed to in a more intelligent, clean and digital way, realizes the SKF vision "reliable functioning of the world". In recent years, SKF has accelerated its transformation in the fields of business and service digitization, industrial Internet of Things and artificial intelligence, and created a one-stop service system for online and offline integration -- SKF4U, leading the industry transformation.

SKF is committed to achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions from its global production and operations by 2030.

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Post time: Apr-08-2022