On a recent visit to India, SKF engineer Dayananda Raju had an occasion to drive through the countryside outside Bengaluru en route to the ruins of the 14th century city of Hampi. He noted the strings of tall white wind turbines operating atop the mountain ridges and recalled that just 10 years ago such a sight was rare in southern India. Since then, wind power generation capacity has significantly increased on the subcontinent as well as in other areas of the world.
“Renewable energy is one of the two biggest pillars we focus on at SKF,” says Raju, manager, Application Engineering – Renewable Energy at SKF USA, in Lansdale, Pennsylvania.
Raju spearheads an SKF partnership with the Colorado-based National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to investigate the real behavior of the components in a wind turbine under a variety of operating conditions. SKF’s aim is to investigate bearing damage and failure to eventually optimize the bearing arrangement, including the bearing itself.