Surface damage of rolling contacts caused by discrete electric current flow

Thomas Zika, Frank Buschbeck, Gerwin Preisinger, Hie C. Gebeshuber, Martin Gröschl

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    2 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    An experimental study subjected bearings used in wind power facilities to a defined electric stress similar to what is found in the field. A small number of electric current pulses were applied by discrete electronics in a standardized run in a test rig. The surfaces of the test bearing were then analyzed using an atomic force microscope (AFM). Surface damage caused by single current pulses was identified for various intensities of current flow. Different mechanical operating conditions were compared. In modern energy-efficient drive systems frequency converters are increasingly being used to control the motor and to enable optimum and adjustable operation. Wind power systems commonly use double fed induction generators (DFIG). The DFIG use frequency converters to enable power generation at varying wind speed and thus rotor speeds. Frequency converters may also cause (additional) bearing currents (parasitic currents) that can harm the bearings of the electric and/or driven machine, leading to premature failure. The damage created at 1,000 rpm was greater than at 120 and 60 rpm. At 1,000 rpm, and therefore at full-film lubrication, the bearing samples showed distinct features in their surface topography. At 120 and 60 rpm, the samples were at boundary lubrication and the AFM topography did not show features that differed from those with no current flow at all. A number of other observations are made.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)11-14
    Number of pages4
    JournalTribologie und Schmierungstechnik
    Volume57
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - May 2010

    Fingerprint

    Bearings (structural)
    Electric currents
    electric current
    Frequency converters
    damage
    frequency converters
    Asynchronous generators
    Wind power
    Lubrication
    induction
    topography
    Microscopes
    generators
    microscopes
    rotor speed
    boundary lubrication
    Surface topography
    lubrication
    pulses
    Topography

    Keywords

    • Bearing currents
    • Electric discharge machining
    • Electrical erosion
    • Microcraters
    • Rolling bearings

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Mechanical Engineering
    • Mechanics of Materials
    • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
    • Surfaces and Interfaces

    Cite this

    Zika, T., Buschbeck, F., Preisinger, G., Gebeshuber, H. C., & Gröschl, M. (2010). Surface damage of rolling contacts caused by discrete electric current flow. Tribologie und Schmierungstechnik, 57(3), 11-14.

    Surface damage of rolling contacts caused by discrete electric current flow. / Zika, Thomas; Buschbeck, Frank; Preisinger, Gerwin; Gebeshuber, Hie C.; Gröschl, Martin.

    In: Tribologie und Schmierungstechnik, Vol. 57, No. 3, 05.2010, p. 11-14.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Zika, T, Buschbeck, F, Preisinger, G, Gebeshuber, HC & Gröschl, M 2010, 'Surface damage of rolling contacts caused by discrete electric current flow', Tribologie und Schmierungstechnik, vol. 57, no. 3, pp. 11-14.
    Zika T, Buschbeck F, Preisinger G, Gebeshuber HC, Gröschl M. Surface damage of rolling contacts caused by discrete electric current flow. Tribologie und Schmierungstechnik. 2010 May;57(3):11-14.
    Zika, Thomas ; Buschbeck, Frank ; Preisinger, Gerwin ; Gebeshuber, Hie C. ; Gröschl, Martin. / Surface damage of rolling contacts caused by discrete electric current flow. In: Tribologie und Schmierungstechnik. 2010 ; Vol. 57, No. 3. pp. 11-14.
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