Wind & Marine Energy Systems & StructuresAcademic Partners

James Stirling

PhD Title - High Fidelity Modelling of Wind Turbine Main-Bearing

Wind turbine main-bearings are failing with much greater frequency than expected. The main reason for this is thought to be the gap which exists between main-bearing design procedures, which focus on fatigue loading and assume relatively constant load conditions, and the real loading experienced by main-bearings in operational wind turbines which are highly stochastic in nature. The extension of existing theory to account for realistic loading conditions experienced by wind turbine main-bearings has huge scope to lower the levelised cost of energy since it would allow for improved lifetime prediction, the development of new and more sophisticated testing procedures for bearing certification and would certainly contribute to improvements in design methodologies. This PhD seeks to develop high fidelity FEA models of various wind turbine main-bearing designs before applying them in order to study, in detail, one of the following outcomes:

Development of main-bearing dynamic damage metrics and remaining lifetime prediction approaches

Development of new procedures for main-bearing testing and certification which account for realistic dynamic loads (including accelerated testing)

Main bearing design analysis based on realistic loading, including comparisons of existing designs and the development of new solutions to reduce harmful loads (e.g. the potential for additional mechanical damping).

Email -

Start Date - October 2017

Institution - University of Strathclyde

Degree - 1st class MEng at University of Glasgow