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Energy Solutions

Wind turbine rotors to rotate more reliably

Wind turbine rotor blade bearings are subjected to tremendous force. A consortium of research institutes and industry partners therefore plans to develop more robust versions of these central units.

12 Apr. 2019
Wind turbine rotors to rotate more reliably (Photo by Matt Artz on Unsplash)

To control their performance efficiently, rotor blades on modern wind turbines can be individually adjusted to the specific wind conditions and the resulting load ratio. Due to the continuous readjustment of the up to 80m-long rotor blades, their bearings are permanently exposed to oscillating motion and tremendous force, whereby the connection between hub and blade bearings is particularly sensitive.

Damage to the rotor blade bearings results in prolonged outages and high costs. For modern wind turbines in the multi-megawatt range, rotor blade bearings therefore need to be more reliably designed and optimized. For this purpose, a consortium of research institutes and industry partners has been set up, coordinated by the University of Hanover, which is also researching new materials for rotor blades as part of the collaborative project HANNAH . Other consortium partners from research are the Fraunhofer Institute for Wind Energy and Energy System Technology IWES, RWTH Aachen University, the Leibniz Institute for Materials Engineering (IWT) in Bremen, and Clausthal University of Technology, and from industry Senvion , GE Wind Energy , Nordex Energy , and Vestas Nacelles Deutschland .