A Prognostics and Health Management Framework for Wind

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3 Scopus Citations


Operation and maintenance costs are a major driver for levelized cost of energy of wind power plants and can be reduced through optimized operation and maintenance practices accomplishable by various prognostics and health management (PHM) technologies. In recent years, the wind industry has become more open to adopting PHM solutions, especially those focusing on diagnostics. However, prognostics activities are, in general, still at the research and development stage. On the other hand, the industry has a request to estimate a component’s remaining useful life (RUL) when it has faulted, and this is a key output of prognostics. Systematically presenting PHM technologies to the wind industry by highlighting the RUL prediction need potentially helps speed up its acceptance and provides more benefits from PHM to the industry. In this paper, we introduce a PHM for wind framework. It highlights specifics unique to wind turbines and features integration of data and physics domain information and models. The output of the framework focuses on RUL prediction. To demonstrate its application, a data domain method for wind turbine gearbox fault diagnostics is presented. It uses supervisory control and data acquisition system time series data, normalizes gearbox temperature measurements with reference to environmental temperature and turbine power, and leverages big data analytics and machine-learning techniques to make the model scalable and the diagnostics process automatic. Another physics-domain modeling method for RUL prediction of wind turbine gearbox high-speed-stage bearings failed by axial cracks is also discussed. Bearing axial cracking has been shown to be the prevalent wind turbine gearbox failure mode experienced in the field and is different from rolling contact fatigue, which is targeted during the bearing design stage. The method uses probability of failure as a component reliability assessment and RUL prediction metric, which can be expanded to other drivetrain components or failure modes. The presented PHM for wind framework is generic and applicable to both land-based and offshore wind turbines.

Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages9
StatePublished - 2019
EventASME Turbo Expo 2019: Turbomachinery Technical Conference and Exposition, GT 2019 - Phoenix, United States
Duration: 17 Jun 201921 Jun 2019


ConferenceASME Turbo Expo 2019: Turbomachinery Technical Conference and Exposition, GT 2019
Country/TerritoryUnited States

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2019 ASME.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5000-73199


  • Diagnostics
  • Frictional energy loss
  • Probability of failure
  • Prognostics
  • Prognostics and health management
  • Remaining useful life
  • Wind turbine drivetrain


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