During the fall meeting of the American Bearing Manufacturers Association (ABMA) and the Bearing Specialists Association (BSA), held last September, the CEO of ABS Atlantic Bearing and member of the ABMA board of directors, Alejandro Pardiñas, presented, along with a group of researchers and professionals from the wind industry including Jonathan Keller (National Renewable Energy Laboratory, NREL), Rainer Eckert (Simon Forensic), Robert Errichello (GearTech), and Andrew Milburn (Milburn Engineering), a project to update the Failure Atlas for Roller Bearings in Wind Turbines, a publication that had been developed by NREL in 2006, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy.
This publication, which remains a reference document for the wind industry, was the first database on roller bearing failures in wind turbines made available to the sector and guided the development of new designs, lubricants, additives, etc., that have managed to alleviate or minimize the recorded failures.
Despite this, failures in main bearings not only persist but have also multiplied in recent years. We are faced with new challenges, and it is imperative to adapt and update the original document by documenting all the acquired experience, so that the integration of new developments into this proven reality becomes viable.
The working group, comprised of specialists from NREL, and from the technical committees of ABMA and AGMA, has committed to undertaking the review and updating of the original document to ensure it continues to serve as the key reference document guiding the diagnosis, repair, design, and manufacturing of our industry for the years to come.