Konisches Gleitlager für die Rotorlagerung einer Windenergieanlage

  • Conical sliding bearing for the rotor main bearing of a wind turbine

Schröder, Tim Niklas; Jacobs, Georg (Thesis advisor); Brecher, Christian (Thesis advisor)

Aachen : RWTH Aachen University (2021)
Dissertation / PhD Thesis

Dissertation, Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen, 2021


Rotor bearings of wind turbines (WTs) are currently using conventional rolling bearings without exception. However, these bearings frequently fail much earlier than the calculated service life and, as a core component of the drivetrain, cause long downtimes and high repair costs since a crane is required to dismantle the drive train. Hydrodynamic plain bearings are therefore a competitive alternative since they can be designed in segments. In case of a damage, individual sliding segments can be replaced with significantly reduced effort. WTs with a double row tapered rolling bearing as a rotor bearing are currently the most compact and lightest drive train configuration, which is why this configuration is chosen to design and test a sliding bearing in the context ofthis thesis. In order to obtain the full potential of this design, the sliding bearing must be designed as a tapered bearing arrangement analogous to the established rolling bearings. However, there are no design guidelines for tapered sliding bearings with conical sliding surfaces. The existing approaches are limited to the pure axial or radial bearings conventionally used in plain bearing technology. This thesis presents a methodical development procedure for this novel design and focuses on the demanding load collectives for plain bearings in the new application of the WT main bearing. By using extensive elasto-hydrodynamic simulations, a new and patent-registered constructive design approach is chosen to ensure a uniform load pattern and to avoid edge wear. The validation is carried out by the first, real implementation on a WT system test bench in original size. The validation measurements under the system-typical boundary conditions of a WT provide the first experimental proof of concept. This creates the basis for a change in technology to plain bearings in order to operate rotor bearings in WTs more reliably and economically in the future.