Automatic lubrication systems for wind turbines

Wind energy systems need proper lubrication to function optimally

Like any mechanical system, a wind energy system needs proper lubrication to function optimally. Vibration, high mechanical loads, contamination and moisture are all threats to bearing and gear service life. However, wind turbines can be challenging and expensive to service. They can reach more than 100 meters off the ground and are often in remote and difficult-to-access locations.

Drive farm machinery productivity with SKF and Lincoln lubrication systems

The solution is an automatic lubrication system. Compared to manual lubrication, automatic lubrication systems provide lubricant supply more reliably and precisely to moving components in the nacelle. By delivering the smallest effective amount of lubricant reliably to all friction points while the machine is running, automatic lubrication systems reduce friction inside bearings and help prevent contamination.

The result is optimized bearing service life over the long term, more turbine uptime and reduced manpower costs – all combining to help make wind farms more profitable.

Thousands of wind turbines around the world operate more reliably and efficiently thanks to SKF and Lincoln automatic lubrication systems. Onshore and offshore, in the earth’s most extreme environments, from deserts to frozen tundra, wind farm operators benefit from precise automatic lubrication of critical moving components.

Benefits from automatic lubrication

Maintenance benefits

  • Reduces labour costs
  • Extends repair intervals
  • Eliminates over- and under-greasing

Operational benefits

  • Increases turbine reliability
  • Reduces unplanned downtime
  • Improves wind farm profitability

Safety benefits

  • No manual lubrication in dangerous, difficult-to-access points
  • Reduces risk of slips and falls through precise lubrication

Solutions for every farm application

SKF offers lubrication system solutions tailored to every turbine application. Single-line and progressive automatic lubrication systems are available for pitch bearings, pitch open gears, main bearings, yaw bearings, yaw open gears and generators. Circulating oil systems are available for gearboxes. SKF also offers lubrication pinions for gear drives and suction elements that remove used grease from bearings.
In some instances, wind turbine technology requires approval by a certification body. For off-shore wind farms, in particular, specific requirements for turbine technology are tested and certified. SKF lubrication systems were the first to receive this certification.

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