For the design of such bearings, intensive tests on a scale of 1:1 are necessary alongside theoretical calculations in order to evaluate effects such as wear and validate the design.
With thyssenkrupp rothe erde’s new test stand, function tests simulating the loading of a component over its entire lifetime of up to 25 years can be completed in six to twelve months. thyssenkrupp will also be using new digital measuring and test methods. For example, individual rolling elements inside the bearing are fitted with special sensors and used as measuring instruments. These “smart” rolling elements transmit measurements from the operation of the turbine in real time, allowing new insights into real loads and their effects on the overall structure. These digital measurement methods can also be used in normal operation outside the test stand. Tests with lubricants or leak testing can also be carried out.
“Having extensive in-house test equipment is an important competitive advantage these days. We have invested continuously in the expansion of our test center in recent years. Together with our customers, but also with certification bodies and universities, we are working on new technological solutions to make wind turbines even more efficient, robust and powerful,” says Winfried Schulte.
The test stand in Erwitte is part of thyssenkrupp rothe erde's test and development center for wind power components in Lippstadt. The center is one of the largest and most modern of its kind in the world, covering an area of around 10,000 square meters. Here, bearings for onshore and offshore wind turbines are tested and further developed. On a total of twelve large test stands quality and lifecycle tests are carried out on bearings with outside diameters of up to six meters. The focus is on induction-hardened bearings, extremely high-performance components suitable for particularly large applications.