Ocean waves can provide a renewable and secure energy supply to coastal residents around the world. Yet, to safely harness and convert the available energy, issues such as bearing reliability and maintainability need to be resolved. This paper presents the application of a Prognostics and Health Management (PHM) based research methodology to derive empirical models for estimating the wear of polymer bearings installed on wave energy converters. Forming the foundation of the approach is an applicable wave model, sample data set, and experimental test stand to impose loading conditions similar to that expected in real seas. The resulting wear rates were found to be linear and stable, enabling coarse health estimations of the bearing surface.
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bearings, PHM system design and engineering, ocean renewables, wave energy converter, wear, test stand, wave energy
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