A review has been conducted of electrical winding failures in wind turbine generators. It has been published in the Electrical Insulation Magazine, Volume 28 number 4, July / August 2012 [A publication of the Dielectrics & Electrical Insulation Society of IEEE].
The article provides a review of failure modes in more than 1,200 wind turbine generators repaired or replaced since 2005.
The review has found that 70% of failures in generators of 1 to 2 MW are bearing failures. The review recommends condition monitoring and periodic electrical trending tests to help predict and plan for outages.
If there are benefits for wind turbines with condition monitoring, in what other areas of the power system could condition monitoring be improved?
At the beginning of a project, it is importance to establish either an acceptance or an evaluation plan.
The objective of the plan is to have a methodology and set of criteria which will confirm that the project’s objectives have been achieved.
The plan should be accepted by the project owner and including in specifications and documented for the contractor. In that way, all parties will fully understand the objectives.
The objectives may be linked to milestone payments.
The objectives can be in many forms, depending on the project. For instance, a power station may have a 60 day reliability trial or a high voltage cable installation may have specific tests which are to be applied.
Where possible, it helps if the tests can be linked to standards such as Australian Standards or IEC standards. This is because vendors and manufacturers are more likely to have product complying with these standards and the need for special testing is reduced.