A survey of failures in wind turbine generator systems with focus on a wind farm in China

Author(s): Ran Bia*, Kejun Qianb, Chengke Zhoua, Donald M Hepburna, Jin Rongc
a School of Engineering and Built Environment, Glasgow Caledonian University, UK
b Suzhou Power Supply Company, State Grid Corporation of China, Suzhou, China
c Yangtze New Energies Development Company, Shanghai, China
International Journal of Smart Grid and Clean Energy, vol. 3, no. 4, October 2014: pp. 366-373
ISSN: 2315-4462 (Print)
ISSN: 2373-3594 (Online)
Digital Object Identifier: 10.12720/sgce.3.4.366-373

AbstractComponent failures are a critical factor that causes unscheduled outage of wind turbine generators (WTG) and a loss of generation. To quantify the WTG failures, a survey which includes data collection and statistical analysis is conducted in this paper. The method applied in the survey has been compared with the previous approaches. The paper demonstrates that there has been a lack of consistency in previous approaches to analysis of failure data and that the proposed method applied here can better ensure data homogeneity. The method is then applied to a wind farm in China which has 134 WTGs, each with a capacity of 1.5 MW in China. Results show that 32.25% of total failures occurred in the pitch system, while cable failures accounted for over 2,033 hours of downtime (29.29% of total downtime), the highest among all causes. It is estimated that 87% of cable failures were due to third party damage (stolen). It is concluded from the analysis that if the wind farm management was improved so that the cable theft was avoided then the wind farm generation could have increased by 0.35% during the period.

KeywordsWind turbine generator, failures, downtime, capacity factor

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