Chapter 15: Reliability of Wind Turbines

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The global wind industry has witnessed exciting developments in recent years. The future will be even brighter with further reductions in capital and operation and maintenance costs, which can be accomplished with improved turbine reliability, especially when turbines are installed offshore. One opportunity for the industry to improve wind turbine reliability is through the exploration of reliability engineering life data analysis based on readily available data or maintenance records collected at typical wind plants. If adopted and conducted appropriately, these analyses can quickly save operation and maintenance costs in a potentially impactful manner. This chapter discusses wind turbine reliability by highlighting the methodology of reliability engineering life data analysis. It first briefly discusses fundamentals for wind turbine reliability and the current industry status. Then, the reliability engineering method for life analysis, including data collection, model development, and forecasting, is presented in detail and illustrated through two case studies. The chapter concludes with some remarks on potential opportunities to improve wind turbine reliability. An owner and operator's perspective is taken and mechanical components are used to exemplify the potential benefits of reliability engineering analysis to improve wind turbine reliability and availability.
NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States))
Controls & Reliability
Utility-Scale Wind
Sheng, Shuangwen; O'Connor, Ryan