Project flow diagram Copyright: © CWD


Wilhelm Schünemann © Copyright: CWD


+49 241 80 90872




The average lifetime of a Wind Turbine and its components is 20 to 25 years. Yet for the lubrication used in the main gearbox, a much shorter use of 3-5 years is granted. This is mainly because of conservative estimation by oil suppliers. For that reason an oil change for the main gearbox is needed regularly. In a Wind Turbine environment this is a difficult and expensive job, and large amounts of old oil have to be disposed of and refilled. This research project aims to reduce the necessary oil changes and even be able to run a wind turbine without oil change.

Research Goals:

  • Understanding the mechanisms for aging oil in wind turbine gearboxes
  • Identification of limits for the functionality of gearbox oil
  • Development of replenishment method to prolong the use of oil
  • Development of a prognosis tool to estimate the deterioration of the oil


01.05.2021 - 30.04.2024

Funded project partners:

Institute for Machine Elements and Systems Engineering an der RWTH Aachen Leibniz Universität Hannover Institut für Maschinenkonstruktion und Tribologie an der Leibniz Universität

Associated project partners:

Nordex Energy GmbH SE & Co. KG Vestas Nacelles Deutschland GmbH Aaciona Windpower SA

Project funded by:

Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action

Project promoted by:

Projektträger Jülich