Massive, precision-engineered bearings and seals like those made by The Timken Company are central to wind power production. The largest of these rolling element bearings weighs more than five tons, with an ID of nearly 2 m.
Such large bearings require sophisticated measuring and testing capabilities that replicate dynamic wind forces. For that purpose, Timken will establish the USA’s only wind-energy research center focused on advanced development of wind-turbine bearings.
Timken will build the $11.8 million Wind Energy Research and Development Center in collab-oration with Stark State College, the Stark County Port Authority, and Stark Development Board. The 18,000 ft2 center will anchor the new Stark State Emerging Technologies Airport Campus on 15 acres of property adjacent the Akron-Canton Airport in Ohio, on the borders of the City of Green in Summit County and Jackson Township in Stark County. The center will secure 65 jobs directly, while creating a research practicum and technical certifi-cation program for Stark State College students to acquire critical experience conducting research, development, and testing of large wind-turbine bearings.
Funding for the project combines more than $6 million invested by Timken, $2.1 million from Ohio’s Third Frontier Commission, and a $1.5 million loan from the Ohio Air Quality Development Authority’s Advanced Energy Jobs Stimulus Program. “This partnership will support the development of clean energy academic programs and internships for students,” says President of Stark State College John O’Donnell.
“We’ll have the resources to validate material and design properties while gleaning invaluable performance data on the mission-critical components working inside large turbines in dynamic conditions,” said Timken Senior VP of Technology Douglas Smith.