Low friction in Ukraine windmill
Ukraine has put into operation a vertical 450-kilowatt windmill for power generation. Located in Evpatoria, Crimea, and designed by Ukrainian company ESO Ltd., the windmill has a height of 50 metres and a diameter of 26 metres. The length of the blades is 29 metres and the weight of the rotating part is 24 tonnes.
The rotor is supported on an SKF spherical roller bearing 24096 CA/W33 and a deep groove ball bearing 618/710 MA/C3. Lubrication is with grease, type SKF LGWM 1. In addition to the bearing supply, SKF assisted ESO in the selection of the bearings and provided lubrication and maintenance instructions.
Initially the designers considered an electrical starter, to help initiate the movement of the rotor. However, the friction in the SKF bearings was so low that the blades could start without the help of any power other than the wind itself.