Leibniz University Hannover University News & Events Press Releases
Reliable Rotor Blade Bearings for Wind Turbines

Reliable Rotor Blade Bearings for Wind Turbines

Press release from

Leibniz University Hannover coordinates collaborative project with numerous partners

Modern wind turbines are equipped with control systems that adjust the rotor blades individually and continuously to the wind conditions as well as to the resulting load ratio. Thus, the performance can be controlled efficiently depending on the intensity of the wind. However, due to the continuous readjustment of the rotor blades, rotor blade bearings are permanently exposed to oscillating motion. With rotor blades up to 80 metres long, blade bearings are affected by tremendous force - the connection between hub and blade bearings is particularly sensitive. In view of the complex load situation, this movement pattern is a particular challenge for roller bearings.

Damages to this central unit result in prolonged outages and high costs. In order to avoid costly maintenance work, a consortium of five research institutes and four well-known manufacturers of wind turbines intends to develop reliable rotor blade bearings.

The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy will provide more than 3.8 million euros of funding for the collaborative project, which is coordinated by the Institute of Machine Design and Tribology (IMKT) at Leibniz University Hannover. Other consortium partners include Fraunhofer Institute for Wind Energy Systems (IWES) in Bremerhaven, the Chair for Wind Power Drives at RWTH Aachen, Leibniz-Institut für Werkstofforientierte Technologien (IWT) in Bremen, as well as the Institute for Plant Engineering and Fatigue Analysis (IMAB) at Clausthal University of Technology. The involved industry partners Senvion GmbH, GE Wind Energy GmbH, Nordex Energy GmbH and Vestas Nacelles Deutschland GmbH will provide one million euros of additional funding for the project. In the years to come, the experts will work on optimising the blade bearing design of modern wind turbines in the multi-megawatt range.


Note to editors:

For further information, please contact Sebastian Wandel, Institute of Machine Design and Tribology (Tel. +49 511 762 2416, Email wandel@imkt.uni-hannover.de).