Enabling decarbonization through wind energy

As the world seeks renewable energy alternatives, wind power has become a growing industry. The technology has advanced significantly over the past several decades, leading to larger wind turbine sizes, complex manufacturing, and operational challenges. Wind turbines often operate in extreme environments – on/offshore, cold climates, desert, and remote locations – which pushes main shaft bearing systems to their limits and requires expensive equipment, such as cranes and/or assembly vessels, to maintain and repair.

Wind Turbine on Offshore Rig
Wind Turbine Nacelle

Optimized performance for wind applications

To remain competitive, wind turbine operators must find ways to optimize equipment performance, increase reliability, and reduce maintenance costs. Waukesha Bearings collaborates with equipment OEMs and leverages world-class material development and testing capabilities to design main shaft fluid film bearing solutions optimized for wind applications. Our modular design can scale up to fit larger wind turbines, resulting in cost savings. The optimized pad shape easily integrates into the nacelle and provides advanced bearing performance within a broad range of operating conditions, including assembly, low speed/idling, and extreme events.

Benefits of fluid film bearings for wind main shaft bearing applications:

  • Easy assembly process
  • Reduced failure rates
  • Unlimited bearing lifetime
  • Low sensitivity to wear
  • Easy exchangeability -- no crane needed
  • Tolerant to high cyclic and dynamic loads
  • Limited maintenance required

Roller Bearing vs. Fluid Film Bearing

Roller Bearing
Fluid Film Bearing

Limited lifetime given by L10h

Endless lifetime

Sensitivity to wear

Min oil film thickness at 1μm. Small wear affects lifetime.

Min oil film thickness at 5-10 μm.
Small wear has no effect on lifetime.


Main shaft to be disassembled – main crane required.

Easy exchangeability of single pads – no main crane support needed.


Grease impact by wear to be replaced and bearing to be flushed.

Known bypass filtration similar to gearbox lubrication.

Roller and Journal Bearings
Offshore Wind Turbines

Journal Bearings

Wind applications require specialized materials, and Waukesha Bearings custom engineers tilt pad and fixed profile journal bearings to optimize equipment performance in these conditions. Our PEEK materials-based bearings have decades of proven success in power generation applications and we have improved formulations to maximize wear resistance for wind turbines.

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Wind Journal Bearing
Thrust Bearing Pads

Thrust Bearings

Waukesha Bearings offers fixed profile thrust bearings for lightly loaded applications and advanced tilting pad solutions for more demanding operating conditions. Tilt pad designs may be non-equalizing or self-equalizing with flooded or ‘Directed’ lubrication to support unique application requirements.

Maxalign Bearing

Maxalign®  Bearings

Specially designed for large shafts, Maxalign bearings reduce shaft-line alignment issues and are less sensitive to shaft deflections.

Journal Bearing Pad

Advanced Materials

Polymer bearing surfaces developed to withstand the operating conditions specific to wind applications.

Innovation and Development

Waukesha Bearings is committed to the ongoing development of fluid film technologies and advanced materials to optimize wind turbine performance. With a brand-new Innovation Lab in Houston, we have unparalleled capabilities to test and validate new products and processes under near real-life conditions; provide field analysis and upgrade solutions; and develop next-generation technologies.

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Submit An Inquiry

Waukehsa Bearings increases efficiency and reliability of wind applications through our main shaft fluid film bearing solutions.

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