Megatrends

ASTRAIOS Large-Size Bearing Test Rig – Interview with Reinhold Korn

Reinhold Korn, Manager Electrical/Systems Engineering Test Rig Development

For me, innovation means not settling for just one idea. With its large-size bearing test rig, Schaeffler has been able to set an innovative milestone in the development of testing technology.

Reinhold Korn,
Manager Electrical/Systems Engineering Test Rig Development

 
 
 

What was the starting point for the development of the large-size bearing test rig?
In the growing wind power market, manufacturers of wind turbines are demanding verification of calculations by means of bearing tests even for bearings with outside diameters measuring more than 3 meters. This is a typical bearing size for rotor bearings in 6 MW offshore wind turbines.

Please describe the main features of this innovation
Astraios, Schaeffler's new large size bearing test rig is one of the most modern, high performance and largest test rigs of its type worldwide. We can achieve more safety and cost-effectiveness for wind turbines with this test rig.

Can you name the most important technical aspects?
The large-size bearing test rig weighs 350 tons - the same as a jumbo jet. It is 16 meters long, 6 meters wide and 6 meters high. The weight that acts on the rotor bearing is generated by the test rig using 4 radial cylinders with 100 tons each. The wind load is generated by 4 axial cylinders controlled using sinusoidal loads each generating 150 tons. The variable drive simulates the varying speeds of the rotor.

Tests on bearings weighing up to 15 tons and with an outside diameter of up to 3.5 meters can be performed.

We use more than 300 sensors for the various tests on the bearings. We investigate the rolling bearing kinematics, rolling bearing temperature, friction behavior, load and deformation, the distribution of lubricant in the bearing and the rolling bearing wear. We can verify our calculations using the test results.

What does innovation mean for you personally?
For me, innovation means not settling for just one idea. With its large-size bearing test rig, Schaeffler has been able to set an innovative milestone in the development of testing technology.