In this article a virtual sensor for online load monitoring and subsequent remaining useful life (RUL) assessment of wind turbine gearbox bearings is presented. Utilizing a Digital Twin framework the virtual sensor combines data from readily available sensors of the condition monitoring (CMS) and supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system with a physics-based gearbox model. Different state estimation methods including Kalman Filter, Least Square estimator and a quasi-static approach are employed for load estimation. For RUL assessment the accumulated fatigue damage is calculated with the Palmgren-Miner model. A case study using simulation measurements from a high-fidelity gearbox model is conducted to evaluate the proposed method. Estimated loads at the considered IMS and HSS bearings show moderate to high correlation (R = 0.50-0.96) to measurements, as lower frequency internal dynamics are not fully captured. The estimated fatigue damage differs by 5-15 % from measurements.

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