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Advancing Wind Turbine Reliability

Overcoming Gearbox & Main Bearing Failures

Greg Smith is a Senior Engineer at OCI-USA and an expert in wind turbine drive trains & gearboxes, mechanical systems, and related metallurgical analysis.

Wind turbines have emerged as a viable alternative energy source worldwide, but mechanical drive systems, particularly gearboxes and main bearings, have faced unexpected reliability challenges, resulting in higher failure rates in the past than anticipated. Collaborative efforts between turbine OEMs, NREL, and manufacturers have revealed torque and non-torque loads as key contributors to premature failures. In response, advanced Finite Element Analysis modeling has been employed to design improved components. OCI gearbox expert, Greg Smith, provides an overview of some of the root causes and design adjustments implemented to mitigate failures.

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