Wind Turbine Lubrication
Wind turbine lubrication is an often overlooked subject by the
general public. But, lubrication is not overlooked by the owners
of large, industrial wind farms. In order for large wind turbine
blades to turn and the whole system to work optimally, creating
the maximum amount of electricity, the unit must be well maintained
and well lubricated.
Wind turbine lubrication is a must.
And of course, not all wind turbines or conditions are the same.
So different kinds of lubricants must be used for different machinery
specs and where the wind turbine will operate.
For instance, wind turbines in the "Saudi Arabia of Wind"
or the Midwest USA will require a separate set of lubricants than
those wind turbines at sea off the East coast. Saltiness of the
air, moisture, altitude, temperature and many other factors need
to be taking into account when selecting wind turbine lubricants.
Canadian wind turbines will require different oils, greases,
green or synthetic lubricants than those say in tropical regions.
Those wind turbines at sea have different specifications than
those on dry land and in dry regions.
Wind Turbine Lubrication Requirements
Although wind turbines work on a simple principle of converting
one force in to another, they still require a rather complex set
of mechanics to do so. Inside most industrial scale wind turbines
(besides the newer ones which may have Teflon parts or are self-lubricating),
there are three different lubricants used including greases for
bearings and slewing rings, hydraulic circuits and brakes. If
you prioritize all of the important operations, then blade bearings
are the ones that operate under the most rigorous of stresses.
Below are the major lubrication points of indirect drive wind
- Most of the external and internal threaded connection
- Disc brake
- Generator bearing
- Shaft Connections (Releasable) such as connections of the
shrink disc et
- Gear boxe
- Main shaft bearin
- Blade bearings with pitching gears, Azimuth bearings etc
The automatic greasing systems lubricate different types of bearings.
Greases for azimuth bearings and blade bearings must have following
- Good pumpability in the centralized lubricating systems
- Good compatibility with different varnishes and sealing materials
- Resistance to corrosion
- Resistance to High temperature and fluctuation in temperature
- Medium to low speeds
- Resistance to vibrations caused due to issues like unsteady
wind and light-weight design
- High load resistance
Those who are currently looking for wind
turbine jobs or who will be looking in the future will not
only have to be well adept and the general mechanics of fixing
generators hundreds of feet above the ground (or building them
in a factor setting). Wind turbine mechanics will need to be well
versed in lubrication, lubrication systems and specifications
and overall maintenance to insure optimal performance and minimal