The yaw bearing is the most crucial and cost intensive component of a yaw system found on modern horizontal axis wind turbines. The yaw bearing must cope with enormous static and dynamic loads and moments during the wind turbine operation, and provide smooth rotation characteristics for the orientation of the nacelle under all weather conditions. It has also to be corrosion and wear resistant and extremely long lasting. It should last for the service life of the wind turbine) while being cost effective.
Windmills of the 18th century began implementing rotatable nacelles to capture wind coming from different directions. The yaw systems of these "primitive" windmills were surprisingly similar to the ones on modern wind turbines. The nacelles rotated by means of wind driven yaw drives known as fantails, or by animal power, and were mounted on the windmill towers by means of an axial gliding bearing.
These gliding bearings consisted of multiple gliding blocks fix