B.A. Lingwall, T.N. Sexton, C.H. Cooley – Technical Report submitted to DOE EERE Wind & Water Power Program, December, 2012
Polycrstalline diamond (PCD) bearings were designed, fabricated and tested for marine-hydro-kinetic (MHK) application. Bearing efficiency and life were evaluated using the US Synthetic bearing test facility. Three iterations of design, build and test were conducted to arrive at the best bearing design. In addition life testing that simulated the starting and stopping and the loading of real MHK applications were performed. Results showed polycrystalline diamond bearings are well suited for MHK applications and that diamond bearing technology is TRL4 ready. Based on life tests results bearing life is estimated to be at least 11.5 years. A calculation method for evaluating the performance of diamond bearings of round geometry was also investigated and developed. Finally, as part of this effort test bearings were supplied free of charge to the University of Alaska for further evaluation. The University of Alaska test program will subject the diamond bearings to sediment laden lubricating fluid.