Advancing main-bearing science for wind and tidal turbines

University of Strathclyde / Electronic and Electrical Engineering

Wind turbine main-bearings are failing with much greater frequency than expected. Despite this, they have received much less attention in the research literature than other drivetrain components. It is estimated this problem could cost offshore wind farms as much as £100 million across a 30-year lifetime, with tidal turbines expected to manifest similar issues in the future.

This fellowship therefore looks to significantly reduce the costs and failure risks associated with main-bearings in current and future wind and tidal turbines by establishing a detailed scientific understanding of these components, their loading and routes to failure, before exploring potential solutions through design, control and improved monitoring and prognosis techniques.

The project benefits from a broad consortium of industrial partners who will support the work and help drive research outcomes into industrial use, ensuring real world reliability improvements and cost reductions for wind and tidal energy.