Tips for extending bearing life in wind turbines

Gearbox reliability has improved remarkably in the last 10 years thanks to a better understanding of bearing loads. However, even high-quality components have a limited life expectancy in the wind industry so it is important to have a consistent maintenance plan in place. In this Wind Talk podcast, The Timken Company‘s Rick Brooks discusses new trends

What different kinds of bearings are used in wind turbines?

A wide range of bearings perform different functions throughout a wind turbine. For instance:

The case for case carburized bearings in wind turbines

Case-carburized bearings have distinct advantages over through-hardened versions. Case studies presented here suggest properties to request in the specification for gearbox replacement bearings.

Wind-driven aerators run better with Vesconite bearings

Vesconite says its bearings last up to 10x the life of bronze bushes, and they don’t swell so they work where nylon is unsuitable. May be the best material for dirty and poorly lubricated conditions.

Timken expands line of small-bore metric seals

The catalog is available online at and through the Timken catalog app at

Making short lived pitch bearing work longer

Let’s start with the function of a pitch bearing, which is to allow for variable pitch position of the turbine blade and to transmit blade loads into the hub.

Schaeffler designs spherical roller bearings to make wind energy more efficient

Schaeffler has optimized its spherical roller bearings for rotor main bearing supports with the objective of increasing the reliability, availability, and efficiency of wind turbines. The development of an asymmetrical spherical roller bearing represents yet another step towards more robustness. The bearing supports of the rotor shaft are of central significance in wind turbines. The

Winergy uses journal bearings in large gearboxes

By introducing journal bearings into its gearboxes Winergy says it sets another milestone for wind turbine drive technology.

How much longer with this main bearing last? E-book has some answers

A physics based modeling approach can be used to establish a relationship between the forces acting on a component and the consumption of the component’s useful lifetime.

New Timken bearing aimed right at wind turbine main shafts

Timken Tapered Double Inner (TDI) Roller Bearing is designed to extend bearing life and improve system performance for three-point mount wind turbines.