Measurements and modeling of friction torque of wind turbine blade bearings
The friction torque of rotor blade bearings is a required parameter for the design of pitch actuators and may provide information about continued degradation and impending failure of the bearing. The torque is heavily influenced by the operating conditions and external loads acting on the bearing. Test results for real-size bearings under realistic loads are rare. This paper presents test results of various double-row four-point bearings of three different diameters, ranging from 0.7m up to 5m. They are loaded with bending moments and axial loads, and their behavior at different speeds is compared. For the same bearing type, large differences are observed at zero load that decrease for higher loads. At lower contact pressures, the change from four-point into two-point contact is clearly visible and results in a temporary decrease of the torque. To monitor potential degradation of the bearing, an empirical model that can be fit to a particular bearing is proposed.