Constructing fast and representative analytical models of wind turbine main-bearings

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This paper considers the modelling of wind turbine main bearings using analytical models. The validity of simplified analytical representations used in existing work is explored by comparing main-bearing force reactions with those obtained from higher-fidelity 3D finite-element models. Results indicate that there is good agreement between the analytical and 3D models in the case of a non-moment-reacting support (such as for double-row spherical roller bearings), but the same does not hold in the moment-reacting case (such as for double-row tapered roller bearings). Therefore, a new analytical model is developed in which moment reactions at the main bearing are captured through the addition of torsional springs. This latter model is shown to significantly improve the agreement between analytical and 3D models in the moment-reacting case. The new analytical model is then used to investigate load characteristics, in terms of forces and moments, for this type of main bearing across different operating points and wind conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-31
Number of pages17
JournalWind Energy Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jan 2021


  • wind turbine
  • wind energy models
  • wind farm


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