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1 Finite Element Evaluation of Bearing Instrumentation Method (December 2014)

This paper presents an evaluation of measurements being taken on a 750 kW wind turbine gearbox being tested by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). High-speed stage gears and bearings have been identified as critical components of the gearbox; during gearbox testing, these components were instrumented and tests were developed to evaluate loads on high-speed tapered roller bearings (TRBs). In this paper an advanced finite element-based contact modeling procedure has been applied to model the high-speed stage with the bearings fully modeled in order to evaluate strain levels. A major conclusion is that the strains of the slotted grooves are at such a level that they have acceptable signal-to-noise levels. This was verified by the results of the initial experiments presented here.