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Durham e-Theses
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Condition Monitoring Techniques for Wind Turbines

CRABTREE, CHRISTOPHER,JAMES (2011) Condition Monitoring Techniques for Wind Turbines. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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This thesis focuses on practical condition monitoring of wind turbines. With offshore wind playing an increasing part in UK electricity generation, prompt fault detection leading to preventative maintenance is gaining in importance. This work describes the development of a condition monitoring test rig and the innovation and application of signal processing techniques for the detection of faults in non-stationary signals. Work is supported throughout by information from wind turbine operators and their experiences of variable speed, variable load wind turbines in the field.

Experimental work is carried out on a condition monitoring test rig comprising a wound rotor induction generator, gearbox and DC driving motor. The test rig operates at variable speed and allows the implementation of a number of fault-like conditions including rotor electrical asymmetry, shaft mass unbalance and gear tooth failure. Test rig instrumentation was significantly developed during this research and both electrical and mechanical condition signals are monitored.

A signal processing algorithm was developed based on experience with analysis techniques and their relationship with the characteristics of a wind turbine. The algorithm is based on Fourier analysis and allows the analysis of fault-related speed-dependent frequencies within non-stationary signals such as those encountered on a wind turbine.

The detection of different faults is discussed and conclusions drawn on the applicability of frequency tracking algorithms. The newly developed algorithm is compared with a published method to establish its advantages and limitations.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:Wind turbine, condition monitoring, fault detection, reliability
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Science > Engineering and Computing Science, School of (2008-2017)
Thesis Date:2011
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:29 Mar 2011 15:50

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