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Department of Mathematical Sciences

Seminar Archives

On this page you can find information about seminars in this and previous academic years, where available on the database.

ECS-Mathematical Sciences Energy Seminars: On the generalization of the signature to systems with multiple types of components & Operations and reliability research for offshore wind

Presented by Frank Coolen and Chris Crabtree, Durham University

25 April 2012 12:00 in E240


Frank Coolen
(Professor in Statistics, Mathematical Sciences)


On the generalization of the signature to systems with multiple types of components


The concept of signature was introduced to simplify quantification of reliability for coherent systems and networks consisting of a single type of components, and for comparison of such systems'
reliabilities. The signature describes the structure of the system and can be combined with order statistics of the component failure times to derive inferences on the reliability of a system and to compare multiple systems. However, the restriction to use for systems with a single type of component prevents its application to most practical systems.

We discuss the difficulty of generalization of the signature to systems with multiple types of components. Ideally, one would want a similar concept that can be used to support the same inferences, shares advantages the signature has for systems consisting of a single type of components, and is easily generalized to systems with multiple types of components. Even `more ideally', such a concept should be easy and have nice mathematical properties to support computation (and approximation where needed). Can it be done?

(Joint work with Tahani Coolen-Maturi)



Chris Crabtree
(Lecturer in Wind Energy System,
School of Engineering and Computing Sciences)


Operations and reliability research for offshore wind


Wind energy is assuming an every greater role in the UK and Europe with UK Round 3 offshore sites expected to add up to 32GW to the current installed capacity 1.9GW. This step change in project scale and energy risk presents new challenges to manufacturers, operators and maintainers with the responsibility of driving down the cost of energy from wind. Few operational and reliability analyses for offshore wind are currently available as the industry is still in its growth phase, with high levels of confidentiality surrounding operational data. The resulting scarcity of data presents a challenge to engineering researchers keen to understand the problems associated with offshore wind and target these in their research. With such sparse and often incomplete data, the understanding of the data and its limitations must be understood from a statistical standpoint so that appropriate methods and techniques can be applied to produce meaningful conclusions.

The presentation will introduce wind energy in the UK, the need for operational analysis and the challenges to be overcome from engineering and mathematical angles, as seen from engineering eyes.

Contact or for more information

Mathematical modelling underlies much of energy engineering. At Durham, relevant engineering research ranges from power network reliability, economics and planning, through reliability analysis of generation units, to computational fluid dynamics models of wind and steam turbines. For this reason, ECS and Mathematical Sciences are organising a joint seminar series to explore opportunities for future collaborative research and grant proposals.

Each seminar will consist of a 20-30 minute talk from each discipline, followed by an extended discussion. While these seminars are open to any Durham researcher, the series is tightly focused on discovering topics for future external proposals between the Mathematical Sciences and ECS.