Title: A proposed maintenance strategy for a wind turbine gearbox using condition monitoring techniques

Authors: David Baglee; Michael Knowles; Sini-Kaisu Kinnunen; Diego Galar

Addresses: Institute for Automotive Manufacturing and Advanced Practices, University of Sunderland, Espoo, Finland ' Institute for Automotive Manufacturing and Advanced Practices, University of Sunderland, Sunderland, UK ' School of Business and Management, Lappeenranta University of Technology, Lappeenranta, Finland ' Division of Operation and Maintenance Engineering, Luleå University of Technology, Luleå, Sweden

Abstract: Renewable energy sources such as wind are available without limitations, but reliability is critical if pay back periods are to be met. The current reliability and failure modes of offshore wind turbines are known and have been used to develop preventive and corrective maintenance strategies but have done little to improve reliability. The analysis of gear lubricants can detect early signs of failure. Reliability centred maintenance (RCM) approach offers considerable benefit to the management of wind turbine operation, as it includes an appreciation of the impact of faults. This paper provides an overview of the application of RCM and condition monitoring techniques, to support the development of a maintenance strategy. It discusses the development of a sensor-based processing unit that can continuously monitor the lubricated systems and provide, real-time data enabling onshore staff to predict degradation, anticipate problems and take remedial action before damage and failure occur.

Keywords: reliability centred maintenance; RCM; wind turbines; turbine gearboxes; oil analysis; maintenance strategy; condition monitoring; wind energy; wind power; gear lubrication; early failure detection.

DOI: 10.1504/IJPMB.2016.077629

International Journal of Process Management and Benchmarking, 2016 Vol.6 No.3, pp.386 - 403

Received: 10 Feb 2015
Accepted: 12 Apr 2015

Published online: 07 Jul 2016 *

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