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Energies 2018, 11(11), 3034; https://doi.org/10.3390/en11113034

Assessing the Factors Impacting on the Reliability of Wind Turbines via Survival Analysis—A Case Study

1
Columbia University, 116th St & Broadway, New York, NY 10027, USA
2
Fraunhofer Institute for Energy Economics and Energy System Technology—IEE, Königstor 59, 34119 Kassel, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 18 October 2018 / Revised: 31 October 2018 / Accepted: 1 November 2018 / Published: 5 November 2018
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Abstract

The failure of wind turbines is a multi-faceted problem and its monetary impact is often unpredictable. In this study, we present a novel application of survival analysis on wind turbine reliability, including accounting for previous failures and the history of scheduled maintenance. We investigated the operational, climatic and geographical factors that affect wind turbine failure and modeled the risk rate of wind turbine failure based on data from 109 turbines in Germany operating for a period of 19 years. Our analysis showed that adequately scheduled maintenance can increase the survival of wind turbine systems and electric subsystems up to 2.8 and 3.8 times, respectively, compared to the systems without scheduled maintenance. Geared-drive wind turbines and their electrical systems were observed to have 1.2- and 1.4- times higher survival, respectively, compared to direct-drive turbines and their electrical systems. It was also found that the survival of frequently-failing wind turbine components, such as switches, was worse in geared-drive than in direct-drive wind turbines. We show that survival analysis is a useful tool to guide the reduction of the operating and maintenance costs of wind turbines. View Full-Text
Keywords: wind turbines; reliability; survival analysis; failure; down times; availability wind turbines; reliability; survival analysis; failure; down times; availability
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Ozturk, S.; Fthenakis, V.; Faulstich, S. Assessing the Factors Impacting on the Reliability of Wind Turbines via Survival Analysis—A Case Study. Energies 2018, 11, 3034.

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