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Research

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Dr Christopher Crabtree, MEng PhD MIET MIEEE FHEA

Associate Professor in the Department of Engineering
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 33 42460
Room number: E326 (Floor 3.5 Christopherson)
Grey College Mentor of Grey College

(email at c.j.crabtree@durham.ac.uk)

Biography

Christopher Crabtree is an Associate Professor in Wind Energy Systems in the Department of Engineering.

Having received the MEng in Engineering from the University of Durham in 2007, he began a PhD in the then School of Engineering and Computing Sciences at Durham, graduating in 2011 with a thesis on condition monitoring techniques for wind turbines.

Christopher’s research focuses on operation and maintenance aspects of wind energy, onshore and offshore, with the aim of improving reliability, raising availability and reducing the cost of energy from wind. His primary research areas are: (i) development of condition monitoring techniques, (ii) power conversion system reliability, (iii) performance analysis of wind energy systems, and (iv) high-frequency thermal monitoring for power electronics.

He also has interests in the movement of church bell towers during full-circle change ringing, with early work focused on Durham Cathedral.

Research

Christopher’s research began from the development of condition monitoring algorithms for wind turbines using electrical signals as an alternative to conventional vibration-based monitoring systems. His major interest is now in the development of targeted monitoring systems, including algorithms and sensor systems, for energy systems. Wind turbine drives trains form the core of his work with thermal monitoring of power electronic converters being added in recent years. His work is supported by both research council and industrial funding and has included impact acceleration projects with Cummins and Anecto. Amongst other industrial partners, he works closely with Ørsted Energy, supervising two Ørsted-funded PhD students, as well as the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult. He has been part of the EPSRC SUPERGEN Wind consortium since 2007 and sits on the Management Board for the £3M EPSRC HOME-Offshore project.

Teaching

Christopher currently teaches courses in electromagnetism and electrical energy generation and conversion. He has previously taught modelling of dynamic systems and design, and supervised industrial projects.

Research Groups

Department of Engineering

Research Interests

  • Offshore wind turbines and farms
  • Condition monitoring
  • Reliability of electrical machines and drives
  • Electrical machines
  • Sensors and monitoring algorithms
  • Optical torque monitoring
  • High-frequency temperature sensing
  • Church bell ringing and tower movement

Selected Publications

Chapter in book

Conference Paper

  • Brigham, K., Zappalá, D., Crabtree, C.J. & Donaghy-Spargo, C. (2018), Automated Fault Detection in Wind Turbine Induction Generators with Rotor Electrical Asymmetry, International Conference on Power Electronics, Machines and Drives. Liverpool, UK.
  • Smith, C.J., Zappalá, D., Crabtree,C.J., Lapiedra, J. & Mulholland, B. (2018), Power Converter Junction Temperature Measurement using Infra-red Sensor, International Conference on Power Electronics, Machines and Drives. Liverpool, UK.
  • Zappalá, D., Crabtree, C.J., Smith, C.J., Lapiedra, J. & Mulholland, B. (2017), Converter Reliability in Wind Turbines today – Onshore & Offshore, HUSUM Wind 2017. Husum, Germany.
  • Smith, C.J., Wadge, G.N., Crabtree, C.J. & Matthews, P.C. (2015), Characterisation of Electrical Loading Experienced by a Nacelle Power Converter, European Wind Energy Association 2015. Paris, France, European Wind Energy Association, Paris.
  • Smith, C.J., Crabtree, C.J. & Matthews, P.C. (2015), Evaluation of Synthetic Wind Speed Time Series for Reliability Analysis of Offshore Wind Farms, European Wind Energy Association 2015. Paris, France, European Wind Energy Association, Paris.
  • Smith, C.J., Crabtree, C.J. & Matthews, P.C. (2015), Experimental Set-up for Applying Wind Turbine Operating Profiles to the Nacelle Power Converter, 11th EAWE PhD Seminar. Stuttgart, Germany, EAWE.
  • Secker, M., Crabtree, C.J. & Zappalá, D. (2015), Wind Turbine Non-Intrusive Torque Monitoring, European Wind Energy Conference, Scientific Track. Paris, France, European Wind Energy Association.
  • Zappalá, D., Crabtree, C.J., Vilchis-Rodriguez, D.S., Tavner, P.J., Djurović, S. & Smith, A.C. (2014), Advanced Algorithms for Automatic Wind Turbine Generator Fault Detection and Diagnosis, European Wind Energy Conference, Scientific Track. Barcelona, Spain, European Wind Energy Association.
  • Ahmad, T., Smith, C.J., Matthews, P.C., Crabtree, C.J. & Kazemtabrizi, B. (2014), Determining the Wind Speed Distribution within a Wind Farm considering Site Wind Characteristics and Wake Effects, 10th PhD Seminar on Wind Energy in Europe, EAWE. Orléans, France, EAWE, 131-134.
  • Smith, C.J., Crabtree, C.J., Matthews, P.C. & Kazemtabrizi, B. (2014), Modelling and Evaluation of Wind Speed Time Series for Reliability Analysis of Offshore Wind Farms, 10th PhD Seminar on Wind Energy in Europe, EAWE. Orléans, France, EAWE, Orléans, 159-162.
  • Zappalá, D., Tavner, P.J., Crabtree, C.J. & Sheng, S. (2013), Sideband Algorithm for Automatic Wind Turbine Gearbox Fault Detection and Diagnosis, European Wind Energy Conference, Scientific Track. Vienna, Austria, European Wind Energy Association.
  • Zappalá, D., Tavner, P.J. & Crabtree, C.J. (2012), Gear Fault Detection Automation Using WindCon Frequency Tracking, European Wind Energy Conference, Scientific Track. Copenhagen, Denmark, European Wind Energy Association.
  • Crabtree, C. J. (2012), Operational and Reliability Analysis of Offshore Wind Farms, European Wind Energy Association Annual Event. Copenhagen, Copenhagen.
  • Vilchis-Rodriguez, D., Djurovic, S., Smith, A. C. & Crabtree, C. J. (2012), Wind Turbine Induction Generator Fault Frequency Tracking by Reference Frame Transformation, 6th IET International Conference on Power Electronics, Machines and Drives. Bristol, Bristol.
  • Crabtree, C.J. & Tavner, P.J. (2011), Condition Monitoring Algorithm Suited to Wind Turbine Use, IET Renewable Power Generation. Edinburgh, UK, Edinburgh.
  • Djurovic, S., Crabtree, C.J., Smith, A.C. & Tavner, P.J. (2011), Influence of DFIG Rotor Fault Severity on Stator Current and Power Spectral Content, European Wind Energy Association. Brussels, Belgium, Brussels, 300-303.
  • Feng, Y., Qiu, Y., Crabtree, C.J., Long, H. & Tavner, P.J. (2011), Use of SCADA and CMS Signals for Failure Detection and Diagnosis of a Wind Turbine Gearbox, European Wind Energy Association. Brussels, Belgium, Brussels, 17-19.
  • Crabtree, C.J., Djurovic, S., Tavner, P.J. & Smith, A.C. (2010), Condition Monitoring of a Wind Turbine DFIG by Current or Power Analysis, 5th IET International Conference on Power Electronics, Machines and Drives. Brighton, UK, Brighton.
  • Crabtree, C.J., Feng, Y. & Tavner, P.J. (2010), Detecting Incipient Gearbox Failure in Wind Turbines: A New Signal Analysis Method for Online Condition Monitoring, European Wind Energy Conference. Warsaw, Poland, Warsaw.
  • Crabtree, C.J., Djurovic, S., Tavner, P.J. & Smith, A.C. (2010), Fault Frequency Tracking During Transient Operation of Wind Turbine Generators, 19th International Conference on Electrical Machines (ICEM). Rome, Italy, Rome.
  • Yang, W, Tavner, P. J. & Crabtree, C. J. (2009), An Intelligent Approach to the Condition Monitoring of Large Scale Wind Turbines, European Wind Energy Conference, Scientific Track. Marseille, France, European Wind Energy Association, Marseille.
  • Yang, W., Jiang, J., Tavner, P.J. & Crabtree, C.J. (2008), Monitoring Wind Turbine Condition by the Approach of Empirical Mode Decomposition, International Conference on Electrical Machines and Systems. 736-740.
  • Yang, W., Tavner, P. J., Crabtree, C. J. & Wilkinson, M. (2008), Research on a Simple, Cheap but Globally Effective Condition Monitoring Technique for Wind Turbines, International Conference on Electrical Machines.

Doctoral Thesis

  • Crabtree, C.J. (2011). Condition Monitoring Techniques for Wind Turbines. School of Engineering and Computing Sciences. Durham University. PhD.

Edited book

Journal Article

Newspaper/Magazine Article

  • Feng, Y., Qiu, Y., Crabtree, C.J. & Tavner, P.J. (2011). Predicting gearbox failures in wind turbines. Modern Energy Review 3(2): 62-66.

Report

Show all publications

Supervises

Selected Grants

  • 2017: Holistic Operation and Maintenance for Energy from Offshore Wind Farms (£311164.00 from )
  • 2017: Novel Data Integration Techniques for Enhanced Wind Turbine Conditioning Monitor (£94743.00 from Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council)
  • 2016: IAA-DEMONSTRATION RELIABILITY TEST FACILITY FOR WIND TURBINE POWER ELECTRONICS (£33676.05 from Epsrc)
  • 2014: EPSRC Supergen Wind Hub (£224262.00 from Epsrc)
  • 2014: IAA - WIND TURBINE OIL CONDITION MONITORING (£4434.28 from Epsrc)
  • 2014: IAA: SUPERGEN WIND ENERGY TECHNOLOGIES (£20188.01 from Epsrc)