15 May 2023
 | 15 May 2023
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal WES.

The effect of site-specific wind conditions and individual pitch control on wear of blade bearings

Arne Bartschat, Karsten Behnke, and Matthias Stammler

Abstract. The characteristics of a pitch controller determine how the wind turbine reacts to different wind conditions. Control strategies like individual pitch control are known for their ability to reduce the amplitudes of load cycles of the structures of the wind turbine while influencing the operation conditions of the blade bearings in a challenging way. However, the control strategy is not the only influencing factor with respect to failure modes of blade bearings like wear and raceway fatigue. The site-specific and stochastic wind conditions can cause wear-critical operating conditions, which are usually not reflected in the rather short time frames of aeroelastic simulations.

This work analyses wind and operating conditions regarding their influence on wear in blade bearings. It is based on measured wind conditions and the modelled behavior of the IWT-7.5-164 reference wind turbine with respect to its pitch activity. The simulation data is used to determine the longest period of uninterrupted wear-critical operation and create a test program based on it for scaled and real-size blade bearings. Experimental results based on this test program show that wear-critical operation conditions can occur during normal operating of a wind turbine and cause wear damage to the bearing raceways.

Arne Bartschat et al.

Status: open (until 22 Jun 2023)

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Arne Bartschat et al.

Arne Bartschat et al.


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Short summary
Blade bearings are among the most stressed and challenging components of a wind turbine. Experimental investigations using different test rigs and real size blade bearings have been able to show that rather short time intervals of only several hours of turbine operation can cause wear damage on the raceways of blade bearings. The proposed methods can be used to assess wear critical operation conditions and to validate control strategies as well as lubricants for the application.