Chapter 14 - Reliability of Wind Turbines

Shawn Sheng, Ryan O'Connor

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Scopus Citations


The global wind energy industry has grown at a fast pace during the past half-decade. Advancements from design and manufacturing to operation and maintenance have led to reduced capital and maintenance costs, which make wind power an indispensable source for a comprehensive solution to global electricity needs. Once wind turbines are installed, the opportunity to lower wind power costs is mainly through improved operation and maintenance practices. Modern wind turbines are equipped with tens or hundreds of measurement channels and are generating an abundance of data, with lot of efforts being put into data analysis by both the research community and the industry. One type of analysis is through the exploration of reliability engineering methods based on readily available data or maintenance records collected at typical wind power plants. If adopted and conducted appropriately, these analyses can quickly save operation and maintenance costs in a potentially impactful manner. The wind industry has adopted this discipline more broadly in recent years. This chapter discusses wind turbine reliability by highlighting the methodology of reliability engineering life data analysis. It first briefly discusses the fundamentals of 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.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationWind Energy Engineering
Subtitle of host publicationA Handbook for Onshore and Offshore Wind Turbines
EditorsT. M. Letcher
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9780323993531
ISBN (Print)9780323958301
StatePublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CH-5000-82236


  • database
  • failures
  • life data analysis
  • operations & maintenance
  • reliability engineering
  • Wind turbine


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