Date of this Version
Final Technical Report
Award Number: DE-EE0001366
Project Period: 11:09–02:12
The penetration of wind power has increased greatly over the last decade in the United States and across the world. The U.S. wind power industry installed 1,118 MW of new capacity in the first quarter of 2011 alone and entered the second quarter with another 5,600 MW under construction . By 2030, wind energy is expected to provide 20% of the U.S. electricity needs . As the number of wind turbines continues to grow, the need for effective condition monitoring and fault detection (CMFD) systems becomes increasingly important . Online CMFD is an effective means of not only improving the reliability, capacity factor, and lifetime, but it also reduces the downtime, energy loss, and operation and maintenance (O&M) of wind turbines.
The goal of this project is to develop novel online nonintrusive CMFD technologies for wind turbines. The proposed technologies use only the current measurements that have been used by the control and protection system of a wind turbine generator (WTG); no additional sensors or data acquisition devices are needed. Current signals are reliable and easily accessible from the ground without intruding on the wind turbine generators (WTGs) that are situated on high towers and installed in remote areas. Therefore, current-based CMFD techniques have great economic benefits and the potential to be adopted by the wind energy industry. Specifically, the following objectives and results have been achieved in this project.
• Analyzed the effects of faults in a WTG on the generator currents of the WTG operating at variable rotating speed conditions from the perspective of amplitude and frequency modulations of the current measurements
• Developed effective amplitude and frequency demodulation methods for appropriate signal conditioning of the current measurements to improve the accuracy and reliability of wind turbine CMFD.
• Developed a 1P-invariant power spectrum density (PSD) method for effective signature extraction of wind turbine faults with characteristic frequencies in the current or current demodulated signals, where 1P stands for the shaft rotating frequency of a WTG.
• Developed a wavelet filter for effective signature extraction of wind turbine faults without characteristic frequencies in the current or current demodulated signals.
• Developed an effective adaptive noise cancellation method as an alternative to the wavelet filter method for signature extraction of wind turbine faults without characteristic frequencies in the current or current demodulated signals.
• Developed a statistical analysis-based impulse detection method for effective fault signature extraction and evaluation of WTGs based on the 1P-invariant PSD of the current or current demodulated signals.
• Validated the proposed current-based wind turbine CMFD technologies through extensive computer
• Showed, through extensive experiments for small direct-drive WTGs, that the performance of the proposed current-based wind turbine CMFD technologies is comparable to traditional vibration-based methods.
The proposed technologies have been successfully applied for detection of major failures in blades, shafts, bearings, and generators of small direct-drive WTGs. The proposed technologies can be easily integrated into existing wind turbine control, protection, and monitoring systems and can be implemented remotely from the wind turbines being monitored. The proposed technologies provide an alternative to vibration-sensor-based CMFD. This will reduce the cost and hardware complexity of wind turbine CMFD systems. The proposed technologies can also be combined with vibration-sensor-based methods to improve the accuracy and reliability of wind turbine CMFD systems. When there are problems with sensors, the proposed technologies will ensure proper CMFD for the wind turbines, including their sensing systems.
In conclusion, the proposed technologies offer an effective means to achieve condition-based smart maintenance for wind turbines and have a great potential to be adopted by the wind energy industry due to their almost no-cost, nonintrusive features.
Although only validated for small direct-drive wind turbines without gearboxes, the proposed technologies are also applicable for CMFD of large-size wind turbines with and without gearboxes. However, additional investigations are recommended in order to apply the proposed technologies to those large-size wind turbines.