A wide range of bearings perform different functions throughout a wind turbine. For instance:
The slewing ring bearing is available without gears, or gears on inside or outside.
Slewing ring bearings are typically found in the pitch and yaw locations of a turbine and help ensure that the blades rotate smoothly. As long as proper maintenance procedures are observed, they do not usually experience many problems besides normal wear and tear over time.
Spherical roller bearings are often used in the main shaft of the turbine. It is also common to find a tapered roller bearings used in combination with a cylindrical roller bearing at this location.There are a number of different bearing designs that can be found in the gearbox of a wind turbine, but most often, various combinations of CRBs, TRBs and ball bearings are used.
Bearing manufacturers are constantly developing new solutions to improve the lives of the components. An example of this, Curtis said, is new sealing solutions designed to improve retention of lubrication.