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Southern Manufacturing & Electronics

Farnborough, Hants(GU14 6XL)

11/02/2020 - 13/02/2020

Southern Manufacturing and Electronics is the most comprehensive annual industrial exhibition in the (more)

System know-how and solutions for all bearing positions on wind turbines

System know-how and solutions for all bearing positions on wind turbines The Schaeffler Group's Wind Power Business Unit has more than 30 years' experience in the development and manufacture of rolling bearings for wind turbines and is an important development partner for all manufacturers of wind turbines and wind turbine gearboxes worldwide.

Schaeffler's bearing range comprises much more than innovative rolling bearing solutions. The range also covers the entire process chain, from bearing development and prototyping through to volume production. Customers are supported with Schaeffler's in-house bearing calculation and simulation software for wind turbine design and specialist engineers for rolling bearing mounting and tribology. Product and engineering know-how, technical consultation and a close working partnership with the customer help to reduce development times and to increase quality, reliability and cost-effectiveness of bearing solutions.

Local support, production and service on a global basis

As well as bearing development and application engineering, Schaeffler also provides highly qualified, specialist external sales engineers who can provide comprehensive advice to customers, on site if necessary. Schaeffler's manufacturing plants for wind energy bearings are close to customers too, with bearing plants located in Germany, Romania, China, India and North America.

Schaeffler is the only manufacturer worldwide with solutions for every bearing position on a wind turbine: rotor shaft, gearbox and generator, as well as for wind tracking and blade adjustment.

Today, at least one Schaeffler component is installed on around 50% of the total number of wind turbines installed globally. Manufacturers therefore rely on Schaeffler's technical know-how when it comes to the design, development and optimisation of wind turbines and their components. Detailed attention is paid to all customer requirements as early as the project planning phase, which means Schaeffler is able to contribute towards minimising wind turbine operating costs.

High performance bearing concepts for rotor shafts

Rolling bearings for wind turbine rotor shafts are subjected to high dynamic loads and operating conditions. Schaeffler develops rotor bearings for the latest wind turbine variants, from 220kW up to multi-Megawatt class turbines. These different turbine concepts range from the conventional, 3-point shaft bearing arrangement and hub bearing supports, through to 2-point shaft bearings or single bearing concepts.

Bearing housing designs are calculated using Schaeffler's bearing design and calculation software, BEARINX, and FEA analysis software, which together ensure optimal support of forces and moments.

Examples of recent innovations from Schaeffler include bearing solutions that combine tapered roller with cylindrical roller bearings, which provide angular adjustment, enabling very tight axial guidance of the rotor shaft. Another innovation is the X-life radial spherical roller bearing, which can now be supplied in standard bearing sizes with a sheet steel cage rather than the conventional solid brass cage.

The right bearing for every gearbox

Bearings for wind turbine gearboxes face the challenges of high dynamic forces with extreme peak and minimum loads, sudden alternating loads, as well as fluctuating operating temperatures.

Schaeffler therefore supplies bearings with high static safety ratings and reliable dynamic designs. Current examples include the Tube Roller Bearing with tube rollers that enable the bearing to rotate without slippage under all load conditions. A high capacity bearing is also available that enables high load ratings and lower friction due to newly developed cage geometry.

Wind tracking and blade adjustment

Wind turbines must be correctly aligned to wind conditions. The tower and the rotor blades need to be adjusted so that they make optimum use of present wind conditions and are not subjected to excessive loads that could cause damage.

Tower and blade adjustment are therefore critical for the cost effective operation of wind turbines. To solve these issues, Schaeffler has developed and manufactured slewing rings with outside diameters up to 4,000mm. These bearings are ideal for wind tracking of the nacelle and for adjustment of the rotor blades in wind turbines up to 5MW output.
 

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