Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/wes-2021-92
https://doi.org/10.5194/wes-2021-92

  04 Oct 2021

04 Oct 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal WES.

Wind turbine main-bearing lubrication – Part 1: An introductory review of elastohydrodynamic lubrication theory

Edward Hart1, Elisha de Mello2, and Rob Dwyer-Joyce2 Edward Hart et al.
  • 1Wind Energy and Control Centre, Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, The University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK
  • 2Leonardo Centre for Tribology, Department of Mechanical Engineering, The University of Sheffield, UK

Abstract. This paper is the first in a two-part study on lubrication in wind turbine main-bearings. Elastohydrodynamic lubrication is a complex field, the formulas and results from which should not be applied blindly, but with proper awareness and consideration of their context, validity and limitations in any given case. The current paper, “Part 1”, therefore presents an introductory review of elastohydrodynamic lubrication theory in order to provide this necessary background and context in an accessible form, promoting cross-disciplinary understanding. Fundamental concepts, derivations and formulas are presented, followed by the more advanced topics of: starvation, dynamic effects, surface roughness interactions and grease lubrication. “Part 2” applies the presented material in order to analyse wind turbine main-bearing lubrication in the context of available film thickness formulas and related results from lubrication theory. Aside from the main-bearing, the material presented here is also applicable to other lubricated non-conformal contacts in wind turbines, including pitch and yaw bearings and gear-teeth.

Edward Hart et al.

Status: open (until 16 Nov 2021)

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Edward Hart et al.

Edward Hart et al.

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Short summary
This work provides an accessible introduction to elastohydrodynamic lubrication theory as a precursor to analysis of lubrication in a wind turbine main-bearing. Fundamental concepts, derivations and formulas are presented, followed by the more advanced topics of: starvation, dynamic EHL effects, surface roughness interactions and grease lubrication.