Spanish Company Develops Self-Diagnosing Bearings

Spanish company Laulagun Bearings, in collaboration with IK4-IKERLAN, has developed bearings for offshore wind turbines that are capable of self-diagnosis and of making their condition known to the wind turbine’s control system.

This will help minimise damage and coincide maintenance work with times when it is possible to access the wind turbine, according to a press release issued by IK4-IKERLAN.

These bearings have been developed within the framework of the Smart-Bearing project, which has been supported by the EEA Grants Programme. This initiative, jointly financed by Iceland and Norway, hopes to contribute towards reducing the economic and social disparities between the European countries and strengthen relations between them.

This two-year project, which is now in its final phase, is testing the sensor and monitoring system developed. Such sensor system is capable of identifying the early stages of cracks and pitting on the raceway.

The data collected by the sensors is sent wirelessly to a built-in processing unit in the bearing. This unit diagnoses the health condition of the bearing and, if appropriate, sends out a report of the maintenance actions to be taken.

The new product developed under the Smart-Bearing project enables corrective actions to be implemented which will ensure the maximum service life of the bearing and reduce the maintenance costs associated with the wind turbine, the press release reads.

Image: IK4-IKERLAN

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