WindESCo Partners with NREL to Help Extend Gearbox Life

Reducing and predicting O&M costs of a wind plant is critical to meeting revenue targets and maintaining margins, but equipment failures can impact operators’ bottom lines. WindESCo recently teamed up with NREL to help their development of software to more effectively assess and proactively address potential gearbox failures. According to NREL, “gearboxes are designed to last for 20 or more years, but can require frequent repairs or early replacement if problems are not caught in time. Existing design standards and models do not account for the prevalence of gearbox failures.” 

The model assesses two common types of bearings used in wind turbine gearboxes, cylindrical roller bears (CBRs) and tapered roller bearings (TBRs), to identify issues before they interrupt operations of the turbine and reduce the frequency and severity of breakdowns. 

By working with WindESCo, NREL will be able to evaluate their new models using real-world wind plant data to speed up commercialization.  

“Partnering with DOE and NREL in collaboration with select customers, we are able to see how these tools perform in actual applications and guide the development toward addressing the most pressing challenges,” says WindESCo Chief Technology Officer Nathan Post.

Read more about our work with NREL