For some time now, the wind energy sector has been focusing on reducing costs per MWh to remain competitive, with efforts geared towards improving turbine designs and minimizing maintenance costs. Operating in challenging environments, like offshore locations or cold climates, can affect turbine performance and reliability, raising repair costs and extending the duration for sourcing replacement parts. In response, wind energy companies are prioritizing reliable components and efficient processes to avoid service interruptions that could negatively impact return on investment and increase the cost of energy.
To meet the growing need for innovative, cost-effective solutions, SKF established the Sven Wingquist Test Center, the world’s first facility capable of simulating real-life dynamic loads to test large bearings. The facility houses several test rigs, one of them is designed for testing wind turbine main shaft bearings, and another focusing on dynamic testing, contributing to the creation of more resilient bearings, which can enhance the economic viability of wind farms. It also stands out for its ability to test not only individual main bearings under relevant conditions but also complete bearing units, including customer components.
The center is a tribute to Sven Wingquist, the Swedish engineer who invented the double-row self-aligning ball bearing and propelled SKF’s global success.
You can find out more about the Sven Wingquist Test Center in the video.