Lubrication systems for wind turbines
Wind energy has long since cast off its status as a niche risk sector that gathers visionaries. Today, wind energy provides 14 % of the European energy mix , which means that it ranks directly after gas, coal and water. The wind energy sector has some 600,000 employees worldwide  and can now be characterized by highly developed technologies and continually improved processes, standards and norms. It is impossible to imagine today’s industrial landscape without wind energy.
Wind turbines have undergone continual development over the years, including a spectacular increase in size. In 1990, rotor diameter was only 23 m; in 2014 it had already reached 99 m. This size increase and the associated regulations and new demands pose challenges to component manufacturers.
SKF automatic lubrication systems have been accompanying the wind energy industry since its beginnings. For more than 20 years, single-line and progressive lubrication systems have been used all over the world by renowned OEMs (fig. 1).
With the increasing size of wind turbines and the advances in technology, lubrication systems are state-of-the-art parts of the yaw bearing and open gear, rotor blade bearings and their open gear, main shaft and generator bearings (fig. 2).