Mahmood Shafiee and Fateme Dinmohammadi – Energies, February 2014
Failure mode and effects analysis (FMEA) has been extensively used by wind turbine assembly manufacturers for analyzing, evaluating and prioritizing potential/known failure modes. However, several limitations are associated with its practical implementation in wind farms. First, the Risk-Priority-Number (RPN) of a wind turbine system is not informative enough for wind farm managers from the perspective of criticality; second, there are variety of wind turbines with different structures and hence, it is not correct to compare the RPN values of different wind turbines with each other for prioritization purposes; and lastly, some important economical aspects such as power production losses, and the costs of logistics and transportation are not taken into account in the RPN value. In order to overcome these drawbacks, we develop a mathematical tool for risk and failure mode analysis of wind turbine systems (both onshore and offshore) by integrating the aspects of traditional FMEA and some economic considerations. Then, a quantitative comparative study is carried out using the traditional and the proposed FMEA methodologies on two same type of onshore and offshore wind turbine systems. The results show that the both systems face many of the same risks, however there are some main differences worth considering.