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Durham University

Department of Engineering

Staff Profile

Publication details for Dr Christopher Crabtree

Rieg, C. A., Smith, C. J. & Crabtree, C. J. (2016). Monitoring Wind Turbine Loading Using Power Converter Signals. Journal of Physics: Conference Series (JPCS) 749(1): 012018.

Author(s) from Durham


The ability to detect faults and predict loads on a wind turbine drivetrain's mechanical components cost-effectively is critical to making the cost of wind energy competitive. In order to investigate whether this is possible using the readily available power converter current signals, an existing permanent magnet synchronous generator based wind energy conversion system computer model was modified to include a grid-side converter (GSC) for an improved converter model and a gearbox. The GSC maintains a constant DC link voltage via vector control. The gearbox was modelled as a 3-mass model to allow faults to be included. Gusts and gearbox faults were introduced to investigate the ability of the machine side converter (MSC) current (I q) to detect and quantify loads on the mechanical components. In this model, gearbox faults were not detectable in the I q signal due to shaft stiffness and damping interaction. However, a model that predicts the load change on mechanical wind turbine components using I q was developed and verified using synthetic and real wind data.