Analysis of Vibration Signals of Drivetrain Failures in Wind Turbines for Condition Monitoring

Abstract

In the last years, the wind industry has increased in a large scale. A wind turbine out of service leeds to high costs due to both maintenance and repair costs and the incapability of producing electricity. A substantial part of the wind turbine failures are in the drivetrain, mainly in generator and gearbox. Several recent works focuses in the study of benefits of the integration of condition monitoring with current maintenance techniques, that would drive to the reduction of costs. For condition monitoring, vibration analysis has been widely accepted as the technique that gives most information about faults in a rotating machine, thus vibration sensors are often used in wind turbine applications. In this work, data from several vibration sensors installed in 18 wind turbines in cold climate were analysed using the Wavelet Packets Transform energy. Signals were acquired for more than four years (from 2011 to 2015), registering failures in gearboxes and generators of the wind turbines. Data were obtained under varying conditions of load and speed as well as varying weather conditions. Signals were analysed with the aim of finding parameters that indicate the presence of a fault. This would be useful to predict a failure with enough time to plan a stop of the wind turbine in the proper moment for similar faults in the future.

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Acknowledgements

The authors wish to thank to the University Carlos III of Madrid for funding under the grant for mobility of researchers.

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Correspondence to M. J. Gómez.

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Gómez, M.J., Marklund, P., Strombergsson, D. et al. Analysis of Vibration Signals of Drivetrain Failures in Wind Turbines for Condition Monitoring. Exp Tech 45, 1–12 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40799-020-00387-4

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Keywords

  • Vibration signals
  • Wind turbines
  • Faults detection
  • Condition monitoring