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IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON INSTRUMENTATION AND MEASUREMENT, VOL. 64, NO. 6, JUNE 2015

A Novel Method and Its Field Tests for Monitoring and Diagnosing Blade Health for Wind Turbines

Ki-Yong Oh, Joon-Young Park, Jun-Shin Lee, Bogdan I. Epureanu, and Jae-Kyung Lee

Abstract— A new diagnostic method is proposed to efficiently monitor the structural health and detect damages in wind turbine blades. A high-resolution real-time blade condition monitoring system that considers the harsh turbine operating environment and uses optical sensors and a wireless network is presented. A hybrid algorithm, which merges probabilistic analysis, design loads, and real-time load estimates, is introduced to enhance operational safety and reliability. Moreover, the alarm limits are updated every 10 min through a learning algorithm to further improve reliability. The proposed algorithm was implemented in a blade monitoring system. The effectiveness of the proposed algorithm was demonstrated for a 3-MW wind turbine in the Yeongheung wind farm.

Index Terms— Blade monitoring, condition monitoring system, failure diagnosis, structural health monitoring, wind turbines.

I. INTRODUCTION

T ECHNOLOGICAL advances in the design and manufacturing of wind turbine blades have led to

a significant increase in the blade span, which allows turbines to harvest more wind energy to increase the annual energy

production (AEP). For example, Vestas has recently launched their model V112 that features a blade span of 112 m, which

is 22 m longer than that of a previous model V90. As a result,

the V112 shows a 10% AEP increase compared with the V90 under the same wind conditions [1]. Alstom and Siemens have also released models ECO 122 and SWT-3.0.113. These have blade spans exceeding 100 m for a 3 megawatt (MW) rated power. Such an increase in the blade span improves the capacity factor because it allows for an increase in the swept area of the blades, and thus enhances the economic feasibility of wind farms. However, a large blade span intensifies the aerodynamic loads on the blades, thereby making the blades more vulnerable to fatigue and extreme loads. This is the main reason why wind turbine failure rates increase with the

Manuscript received August 12, 2014; revised October 27, 2014; accepted November 18, 2014. Date of publication January 14, 2015; date of current version May 8, 2015. This work was supported in part by the New and Renewable Energy Program through the Korea Institute of Energy Technology Evaluation and Planning and in part by the Korea Government through the Ministry of Knowledge Economy under Grant 2011T100100307. The Associate Editor coordinating the review process was Dr. Regis Landim. K.-Y. Oh and B. I. Epureanu are with the Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109 USA (e-mail:

kiyongoh@umich.edu; epureanu@umich.edu). J.-Y. Park, J.-S. Lee, and J.-K. Lee, are with Offshore Wind Research and Development Center, Korea Electric Power Corporation Research Institute, Korea Electric Power Corporation, Daejeon 305-760, Korea (e-mail:

asura@kepco.co.kr; ljs@kepri.re.kr; jklee78@kepco.co.kr). Color versions of one or more of the figures in this paper are available online at http://ieeexplore.ieee.org. Digital Object Identifier 10.1109/TIM.2014.2381791

increase of the rated power. Moreover, the breakdown and downtime of blades hinder the economic feasibility of wind farms [2]. Thus, real-time condition monitoring and fault diagnosis for wind turbine blades are essential for large-scale wind turbines. In particular, offshore wind turbines have to be equipped with blade condition monitoring systems to meet safety requirements [3]. This is due to the severe oceanic environmental conditions the turbines face. A variety of techniques for monitoring the condition of wind turbines have been proposed [4], [5]. For example, methods based on piezoelectric impact sensors and/or acoustic emission sensors have been applied for fault diagnosis of wind turbines with small blades [6], [7]. Health monitoring of large blades has been explored using various sensors [8], [9]. In addition, efficient learning and alarm generation methods based on real-time measurements have been developed to enhance the reliability of monitoring and diagnostic systems [10], [11]. These studies provide a useful foundation to improve the oper- ational safety of wind turbines, and therefore, the economic feasibility of wind farms. However, blade condition monitoring and diagnosis in real time has not been investigated in great detail because of the turbine’s harsh environment, which makes the experimental research more difficult. Moreover, the use of learning algorithms has been limited because the calculation time of conventional algorithms increases with the amount of learning data, as the alarm limits have to be recal- culated from the entire learning data when new data are added. This paper proposes and demonstrates a novel method that can perform real-time condition monitoring and diagnosis with high resolution for wind turbine blades. The approach merges a statistics-based method with a complementary model-based method to detect abnormal states of a whole rotor system, which might result in the failure of a subsystem or a blade. In addition, the reliability of alarm limits is enhanced by updates every 10 min through a simple yet accurate leaning algorithm. To overcome the severe internal and external environmental conditions of a rotor, the physical monitoring system was realized using optical [fiber Bragg grating (FBG)] sensors and a wireless network. A simple but powerful inspec- tion algorithm for data integrity was also developed to mitigate typical measurement problems of FBG sensors. The proposed methods and the physical system were tested for a 3-MW wind turbine to demonstrate the effectiveness of their performance.

II. DIAGNOSIS ALGORITHMS

Fig. 1 shows the developed blade monitoring system [12], which is installed in WinDS3000 for the field test. FBG strain gauges with an accuracy of 1 με and a gauge length of 10 mm were installed at the root of the blade at an interval of

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OH et al.: NOVEL METHOD AND ITS FIELD TESTS

OH et al. : NOVEL METHOD AND ITS FIELD TESTS Fig. 1. Hardware configuration of the

Fig. 1.

Hardware configuration of the blade monitoring system.

1. Hardware configuration of the blade monitoring system. Fig. 2. Overall procedures for the blade monitoring

Fig. 2.

Overall procedures for the blade monitoring and diagnosis method.

90° to monitor the local strains at the root of the blades. The assumption is that these measured strains are proportional to the bending moment exerted on the root of the blade. FBG temperature sensors with an accuracy of ± 0.5 °C were also attached at each strain gauge location to compensate the measured strain for any temperature variations (Fig. 1). These strain gauges and temperature sensors were installed on all blades to detect asymmetry and/or influence from individual blade damage, heterogeneous icing, and contamination. An interrogator measures the shift ( λ) of the Bragg wavelength at a sampling rate of 100 Hz, discretizes the optical data, and transmits discretized data to the local server through a wireless network in real time. There is no noise or disturbance or significant time delay for transmitting the discretized data. Because of that, measurement uncertainties are caused only from uncertainties in detecting peaks and shifts in wavelength. These correspond only to sensor accuracy. The wireless network system was constructed independently to prevent signal interference between the blade monitoring system and the control system of the wind turbine. The pitch controller communicates with the power line carrier through a slip ring as the hub rotates during operation. The data transmitted from the rotor were stored to servers in the control room of the Yeongheung wind farm and the Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) Research Institute. The overall blade monitoring algorithm consists of three phases (Fig. 2). In the first phase, the measured data transmitted from the sensors to the server are examined to check data integrity using an inspection algorithm. Next, in the monitoring phase, the mechanical strain and the calibration offset are estimated. Then, the equivalent moments

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are calculated from strains for real-time monitoring. Finally, in the learning phase, an alarm message is issued when the measured data exceed the alarm limit. Note that the measured data at the pressure and suction sides are synchronized with the power or the pitch angle to better capture the blade dynamics. The alarm limits are automatically updated every 10 min.

A. Measurement and Acquisition Phase

FBG sensors are used. There are three reasons for using FBG sensors. First, they have the advantage of a direct physical correlation between the measured Bragg wavelength shift ( λ) and strain. Second, they have immunity to light- ning and electrical shortage. Third, they require only few cables and channels. Electric insulation is important as this component is placed at the rotor, which is exposed to the environment. That contrasts systems placed inside the gearbox or the generator. Note also that a large system with many cables and channels is not practical because of the narrow space available at the hub; the diameter of a hub is around 2 m, and much equipment including the pitch control system is already installed in the hub. However, FBG strain gauges are sensitive to the surrounding conditions, especially to temperature. The magnitude of the reflected optic wavelength varies with the temperature. Moreover, erroneous readings like multiple peaks at one sensor can occur if the sensor is not installed uniformly or correctly due to the birefrin- gence of the reflected optical signal [13]. Specifically, strain gradients in the gauge length result in multiple peaks at one sensor. Therefore, the sensors should be installed on a flat surface (of measurement) and uniform epoxy distribution should be used for bonding. These mitigate the strain gradient or microbending in the gauge length of the FBG sensor. Moreover, thresholds used to select monitoring data should be appropriately established to mitigate such common sensor measurement problems. However, it is hard to guarantee uniform strain gradient in real-field applications, especially for complex curved surfaces such as those of wind turbine blades. In addition, optimal values for the thresholds are not easy to establish because of severe temperature variations; for example, the temperature of the rotor can change from 20 °C to 40 °C in the Korean peninsula over one year. For this reason, an algorithm to inspect data integrity was developed (Fig. 3) to mitigate these inherent issues of FBG sensors. In the first stage of the integrity check (Fig. 3), the received measurements are counted and their number n is compared with α ref , where α ref is the number of sensors. If n equals α ref , the integrity check is complete and the data set is transmitted to the monitoring phase. If n is different from α ref , then multiple peaks exist or peaks are below thresholds. This triggers subsequent stages. Note that it is possible for n to be equal to α ref although multiple peaks exist at some sensors and at the same time peaks exist below the threshold at some other sensors. The number of missing peaks could be equal to the number of spurious peaks. However, that is a very unlikely situation, which was not considered in this implementation of the data integrity check.

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IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON INSTRUMENTATION AND MEASUREMENT, VOL. 64, NO. 6, JUNE 2015

INSTRUMENTATION AND MEASUREMENT, VOL. 64, NO. 6, JUNE 2015 Fig. 3. Inspection algorithm for data integrity.

Fig. 3.

Inspection algorithm for data integrity.

In the second stage, the absolute difference between the actual measured wavelength and the designed wavelength λ 0 at each installed sensor is calculated. In the third stage, the difference obtained at the second stage is compared with a reference value β ref . The index d of the first measurement where the difference exceeds β ref is found. In the fourth stage, the number n of measurements is compared with α ref again. If n is larger than α ref , the algorithm proceeds to the fifth stage; multiple peaks exist at some sensors. If n is less than α ref , the algorithm proceeds to the sixth stage; peaks exist below their threshold at some sensors. In the fifth stage, the measurement of index d is eliminated, and the measurement indices larger than d are reduced by one. In the sixth stage, the measurement of index d is flagged and thereon omitted until the corresponding threshold is updated. The whole procedure is repeated until the number n of measurements equals α ref . Note that these iterations are needed because sensors are connected in series in the optical cable. The details of the sensor array configuration are provided in Fig. 1. The first two months of the field tests showed that more than 30% of the measurements had inadequate integrity even though significant effort had been devoted to correctly installing the sensors and to properly designing their thresh- olds. Specifically, the ambient temperature was 15 °C when the FBG sensors were installed. The viscosity of the epoxy was extremely high. Hence, the amount of epoxy used along the gauge length was not uniform for several of the sensors. This different amount of epoxy caused nonuniform compressive residual stress, which in turn resulted in strain gradients along the gauge length. As a result, wrong alarms were frequently generated during this period. After the data integrity check was applied, alarms were issued correctly. Erroneous alarms due to measurement problems were never issued again during the 10 months of field tests after the implementation of the data integrity check.

B. Monitoring Phase

The measured wavelength shift λ is converted to strain and temperature using the following after the data

integrity check :

T

= T 0 +

ε m =

1

λ

k

λ

0

1

· λ λ

0

kα g + α δ

α b + α δ · (T

k

T 0 )

(1)

(2)

where T is the temperature and ε m is the pure mechani- cal strain. Several calibrated parameters are used in these equations for each sensor. Specifically, T 0 is the reference temperature, k is a gauge factor, α g is the expansion coefficient of the sensor fiber, α δ is a coefficient of variation of the refraction index with the temperature, λ 0 is the reference wavelength, and α b is the thermal expansion coefficient of the blade material. Since the strain measured by an optical sensor includes both the strain due to temperature variations and that due to mechanical loads, the pure mechanical strain can be calculated with a measured temperature (measured at the same location) using (2), where the thermal strain is removed. To predict the exact full loads (static and dynamic) exerted on the blade, optical sensors should be installed without static loads. That is because optical sensors estimate the strain variation relative to the initial installation. However, it is hard to install sensors without any static load unless the blade is on the ground and not assembled in the wind turbine. Blades assembled in the turbine always have static loads even though the turbine is not rotating, and those static loads are hard to directly measure for operating wind turbines. Moreover, these static loads depend on the blade position. To predict the exact full loads, the initial static loads were estimated using measurements from the idling state at zero wind speed. During the idling state, it can be assumed that only rotational and gravitational loads act on the blade, whereas wind forces are negligible. Hence, the average rota- tional moment is zero and the thrust force is negligible. Data collected in the idling operation state during the first two months of field tests were used to calibrate the optical sensors to accurately predict full loads. The reliability of wind turbines has to be certified at a variety of design load cases (DLCs) [14], [15]. The evaluation of DLCs considers as the most important parameter the moment exerted on the wind turbine. Thus, the measured strains are converted to equivalent moments, and the moments are monitored. For blade fault diagnosis, this conversion cannot only use design loads but also has to compare quantitatively the actual load with the design load at various wind conditions. Moments are given by

= − ε m E I r

(3)

L c where M is the bending moment, E is the equivalent modulus of elasticity for the composite material of the blade, I r is the moment of inertia with respect to the rotational axis, and L c is a characteristic length, namely, a calibration factor provided by the wind turbine manufacturer. The data integrity check presented in the previous section has a significant impact on the estimated moments. Fig. 4 shows moments obtained before and after the data

M

OH et al.: NOVEL METHOD AND ITS FIELD TESTS

OH et al. : NOVEL METHOD AND ITS FIELD TESTS Measured moments at the first blade

Measured moments at the first blade before passing the inspection

algorithm (top) and after passing the inspection algorithm (bottom) to check

Fig. 4.

data integrity.

integrity check. Multiple peaks within their threshold exist at the suction side of blade 1. Thus, the calculated moment based on unchecked data incorrectly shows large spikes at that blade (Fig. 4, top). In addition, the data from the second and third blades are stored incorrectly in a data set because spurious data are stored from the first blade. Hence, the estimated moments have even large errors at those blades (not shown for the sake of brevity). In contrast, the moments estimated after the data integrity check (Fig. 4, bottom) does not show the incorrect spikes.

C. Learning Phase

The inherent fluctuations in the wind speed frequently place wind turbines in transient dynamics. The load can significantly vary under such transient dynamics. Thus, alarm limits created based on steady-state dynamics can lead to wrong alarms. At the same time, alarm limits created based on designed strength limits from DLC analysis are very insensitive to the presence of incipient cracks or their propagation in time. To address this challenge, a hybrid algorithm is proposed herein. This algorithm merges probabilistic analysis, design loads, and real-time estimates of the actual loads. The algorithm allows alarm limits to be updated every 10 min using new measurements to enhance alarm reliability. The more measurements are used, the higher is the alarm reliability. Note that the purpose of a hybrid algorithm is to detect abnormal states of a whole rotor system as well as blade failure. The blade failure can be prevented with constant alarm limits, i.e., strength limits. However, it is hard to detect abnormal states of a whole rotor system or the propagation of cracks in a blade without considering the blade dynamics in terms of wind speed and power. The normal states of the rotor system, i.e., the equivalent bending moment in normal states in terms of wind speed or the pitch angle, are predictable with a probabilistic analysis, and machine learning enhances the accuracy of probabilistic analysis. That is why the proposed method uses updates of the alarm limits. An alarm limit A is calculated using the following formula :

(4)

A = ± 1 · A S + ω 2 · A M )

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where ω 1 and ω 2 are the weighting factors, A S is a statistical value, and A M is a model-based value. The ± sign is used for maximum and minimum alarm limits. A M and A S are

(5)

(6)

A M

= ν · M

±

U

A S = M avg ± L dis

where M

and minimum (superscript ) strength limits of the blade, ν is a safety factor, L dis is a probabilistic distance to the mean [16]

(details below), and M avg is a metric for the average of the

moment (details below). M

to calculate the upper alarm limits, whereas M

sign in (6) are used to calculate the lower alarm limits. Note

that M

stacked anisotropic composite materials. Each alarm has three levels: 1) low (caution); 2) medium (warning); and 3) high (emergency). These levels are defined by three distinct values of ν, namely, 68.27% (corresponding to one standard deviation σ ), 95.45%

are different because the blade is made of

and the minus

and the plus sign in (6) are used

+

U

U

represents the designed maximum (superscript + )

and M

U

+

U

U

±

(corresponding to 2σ ), and 99.73%

The probabilistic distance L dis to the mean [16] is given by

(7)

k 2 is

a coefficient of value 1 for caution, 2 for warning, and 3 for

emergency, and σ avg is a metric for the standard deviation of the moment. Each 10-min time interval is indexed. At the nth time interval, M avg and σ avg are given by

where k 1 is a compensation factor for the mean value,

(corresponding to 3σ ).

L dis = k 1 M avg + k 2 σ avg

M avg (n) =

(n 1) ·

M avg (n 1) + m(n)

n

(8)

(n 1) · σ avg (n 1) + σ(n)

n

(9)

where m(n) and σ (n) are the mean and the average of the measured moment over the nth 10-min time interval. Note that the alarm limits A in (4) are updated every 10 min because

M avg and σ avg are updated. To obtain the alarm limits, the algorithm requires only seven

. In addi-

tion, the algorithm is computationally effective regardless of the amount of data, which contrasts other learning algorithms need much more computational time to calculate new alarm limits. During field test, the alarm limits for the leading edge and the trailing edge were set to constant. That is because the loads on the leading and trailing edges do not depend on the power and the pitch angle. In contrast, the alarm limits for the pressure and suction sides are functions of power (at low wind speeds) or functions of pitch angle (at high wind speeds) [17]. The control strategy used for wind turbines is the main reason for introducing different strategies for issuing alarms at each edge. The pitch angle is constant below the rated power (to capture the maximum wind energy), whereas the pitch angle is controlled above the rated power (to regulate the loads). The proposed algorithm uses a bin splitting method to synchronize the measured moments with the rotational speed

parameters, namely, ω 1 , ω 2 , ν, k 1 , k 2 , M

σ avg (n) =

+

U

, and M

U

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IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON INSTRUMENTATION AND MEASUREMENT, VOL. 64, NO. 6, JUNE 2015

INSTRUMENTATION AND MEASUREMENT, VOL. 64, NO. 6, JUNE 2015 Fig. 5. speeds. (a) 10.3 r/min. (b)

Fig. 5.

speeds. (a) 10.3 r/min. (b) 11.5 r/min. (c) 13.5 r/min. (d) 15.2 r/min.

Measured equivalent moments at a steady state for several rotational

equivalent moments at a steady state for several rotational Measured equivalent moments during transients in several

Measured equivalent moments during transients in several operat-

ing conditions. (a) Start. (b) Stop. (c) Emergency stop. (d) High intensity turbulence.

Fig. 6.

or with the pitch angle at the pressure and suction sides to facilitate different alarm limits [19]. The size of the bins was set as 200 kW for the regime below the rated power (at the maximum C p tracking region) and 3° for the regime of power regulation. Note that the rotational speed is used instead of wind speed. That is because the wind speed measured by the nacelle anemometer is distorted after each blade passing. The supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system also uses the rotational speed for control, and not the wind speed.

III. FIELD TESTS

The proposed algorithms have been embedded in a blade monitoring system (Fig. 1) and tested for one year (from August 2011 to July 2012) at a commercial wind turbine WinDS3000 in the Yeongheung wind farm. The measured data during the first two months were used to validate the inspection algorithm for data integrity and to calibrate the static loads, as presented in the previous section. The measured data during the last 10 months were used to demonstrate the effectiveness of the fault diagnosis algorithm.

A. Real-Time Monitoring

The blade monitoring system is able to reliably provide high-resolution measurements. Hence, it is possible to analyze the measured moments at a variety of wind conditions to characterize the loads exerted on the blades. Fig. 5 shows moments measured at a steady state for several rotational speeds (wind speeds). Loads onto the leading edge, the trailing edge, the pressure side, and the suction side are shown. The moments that fluctuate periodically are the ones measured at the leading and trailing edges, where the rotational

moment is most significant. The magnitude of these periodic moments is large, but their average is zero because of the symmetric variations in the rotational moment with respect to the blade position. In contrast, the moments at the pressure and suction sides are proportional to the rotational speeds (which are approximately proportional to the wind speeds) because thrust forces mainly act on these sides and these forces are proportional to the wind speed. The measured moments from the leading and trailing edges show offsets at high wind speeds [Fig. 5(d)]. These offsets are caused by the pitch control of the blades. The blades are pitched in the power regulation regime to reduce the loads exerted on the blade and other components. Hence, thrust forces act also at the leading and trailing edges in the power regulation regime. Fig. 6 shows moments measured during transients at a variety of operating conditions. Different static loads act on the blades for different positions at the initial standstill [Fig. 6(a)]. Large periodic moments are exerted on the pressure and suction sides during and after idling. The opposite process can be observed during stopping [Fig. 6(b)], where standstill is followed by idling. During an emergency stop, the wind turbine is stopped without idling [Fig. 6(c)]. Similar to a start, the loads at the pressure and suction sides are larger than those at the leading and trailing edges. During high-intensity turbulence [14], the loads on the pressure and suction sides vary continuously and they are large [Fig. 6(d)]. That contrasts the loads during low-intensity turbulence (Fig. 5). Fig. 7 shows a probabilistic analysis performed during field tests. The markers and error bars indicate the mean and standard deviations for each bin. As also observed in Fig. 5, large periodic moments are exerted on the leading and

OH et al.: NOVEL METHOD AND ITS FIELD TESTS

OH et al. : NOVEL METHOD AND ITS FIELD TESTS Probabilistic analysis of moment measured at

Probabilistic analysis of moment measured at the leading edge (top)

and the pressure side (bottom) as a function of power and pitch angle for the

Fig. 7.

pressure side.

trailing edges. The average values of the varying moments are almost zero at those locations, whereas the standard deviations are large. The magnitude of periodic loads is critical for fatigue life even though the average value is zero. In fact, the fatigue life depends on the magnitude of the periodic load. The fatigue life decreases proportionally to the total accumulated load. For instance, a periodic load with a large magnitude degrades a blade faster than a periodic load with a small magnitude, even though the average load is the same. Therefore, monitoring leading/trailing edge sides are important to assess fatigue. In addition, the moments at these locations are observed not to significantly depend on the power or the pitch angle. Hence, alarm limits for these locations can be calculated regardless of the power and the pitch control. The average moments at the pressure and suction sides are large and depend on the power or the pitch angle, whereas the standard deviation is relatively small. The moments at these locations are proportional to the power in the maximum C p tracking regime. In addition, these moments are inversely proportional to the pitch angle in the power regulation regime. Moreover, extreme moments act at the pressure and suction sides during transients. Thus, the loads on the pressure and suction sides are important for monitoring structural strength. As a result, alarm limits for these locations should be synchronized with the power or the pitch adjustment to enhance the alarm reliability. In conclusion, all sides of the blades should be monitored because fatigue and maximum loads are equally important to predict blade lifespan and prevent blade failures.

B. Alarm Generation

Fig. 8 shows the trend of M avg and σ avg as new data are added at the bin of 800–1000 kW power generation. The left and right vertical axes represent M avg and σ avg . One can note that M avg values converge to constant values after about 30 updates, whereas σ avg values converge to constant values after about 200 updates. Thus, L dis values from (7) converge to constant values after about 200 updates. Similar trends were observed at other bins (not shown here for the sake of brevity).

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at other bins (not shown here for the sake of brevity). 1731 Fig. 8. Measured moments

Fig. 8. Measured moments and standard deviations through the learning algorithm at the bin of 800–1000 kW power generation.

algorithm at the bin of 800–1000 kW power generation. Fig. 9. edge (top) and the pressure

Fig. 9.

edge (top) and the pressure side (bottom).

Alarm limits and the measured equivalent moments at the leading

The alarm limits for each bin converged to constant values and little variation were observed after four months although the alarms were updated every 10 min. Fig. 9 shows the values of the alarm limits and the measured moments during 10 months of field tests (from October 2011 to July 2012). The proposed algorithm generated a total of five caution messages, one warning message, and no emergency messages. Note that all alarms were generated from the pressure and suction sides because extreme loads were exerted on these sides, as already noted in Section III-A. To demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed algorithm, the trip alarm (Alarm Level 1) messages of the SCADA system were analyzed for the same period. The SCADA system collects hundreds of state data from many components of a wind turbine—including a wealth of data from the rotor—for efficient control and reliable operation [18]–[21]. Specifically, the SCADA system of WinDS3000 collects a total of 129 signals, of which 23 are for the rotor, such as rotor speed, blade torque, and pitch motor temperature. Hence, a SCADA system provides component condition monitoring as well as fault detection [22]–[24]. Moreover, certification of a SCADA system is a safety requirement for wind turbines [14], [15]. Hence, a SCADA system of a commercial wind turbine is designed to guarantee minimum safety and reliability. Thus, the comparison between the alarm from the proposed algo- rithm and that of the SCADA system for a WinDS3000 turbine

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is an effective—although somewhat indirect—way to show the

performance of the proposed algorithm. Note that the com- parison of alarms—issued from the proposed algorithm and the SCADA system—cannot validate the proposed algorithm quantitatively. A direct and quantitative validation is possible in a long-term field test, which should compare signals from healthy and faulty blades. However, it is inefficient and hard to perform such tests with an actual commercial wind turbine. For this reason, we selected the indirect way to check

the effectiveness of the proposed algorithm. This approach is similar to [11], [25], and [26]. Eventually, all condition monitoring systems, including blade monitoring systems and their algorithms, should be integrated into SCADA systems to enhance the operational reliability of wind turbines. Six trip alarms were generated by the SCADA system. One alarm was due to a hub drive error, one alarm was due to a high pitch motor temperature, one alarm was due to

a network disconnection, and three alarms were caused by

the temperature of the rotor brake (requiring the rotor brake

to be cooled). The alarm due to the network disconnection matched with the warning message, whereas the other alarms matched with caution messages. In other words, the alarms generated from the proposed monitoring algorithm exactly correspond with all alarms generated by the SCADA system. The measurements that exceeded the caution limit are

important to monitor the subsystem of the rotor. Although these cases are not critical for blade failure, they are important for other subsystems. The measured moments during those situations were not normal although they were below 40% of the designed strength limit of the blade. They were not normal because other subsystems could be overloaded. Thus, caution limit alarms indicate when dynamics different than normal occur. Hence, the proposed method can monitor the whole system and not just the blades because the blades are coupled with all subsystems. The whole rotor system should be inspected to prevent possible disaster even though a seemingly minor alarm (caution) is generated. One warning message was generated during the network disconnection. When the network was disconnected from the rotor, the wind turbine was in the power regulation regime. However, the pitch controller cannot receive the desired pitch angle command from the SCADA system, and therefore the (measured) moments increase significantly due to the high wind speed. This is visible at the pressure and suction sides (Fig. 9, bottom). As a result, the blade monitoring system issued a warning message. If the wind turbine would not stop, then the load on the blades might exceed the design strength limit, and therefore the blade would eventually break. This event shows the effectiveness of the blade monitoring system; the operator can identify the seriousness of the alarm generated through the real-time measured moments. Therefore,

a combination of the blade monitoring algorithm proposed

herein and the SCADA system will be useful to enhance the operational safety of wind turbines, especially for offshore wind farms. No emergency alarms due to blade faults were issued by the proposed algorithm or by the SCADA system. This wind farm began the commercial operation in July 2011. Hence, the field

tests were conducted one month after the start of commercial operations. It can be inferred that the turbines and the blades were all new and performance degradation or faults had not yet occurred. Moreover, the wind farm was stopped by the operator during severe weather conditions such as a typhoon or heavy rain to prevent failure of the wind turbines. As a result, the wind turbines did not suffer any extreme loads. The accuracy of the strain gauge and the temperature sensor corresponds to an uncertainty in the equivalent moment of 11 and 38 kNm, respectively. Hence, the total uncertainty due to sensor accuracy is 49 kNm. This is negligible as it is below 1% of the designed maximum bending moment at the root of a blade. Through the field tests on MW class wind turbines, the developed method shows a highly reliable ability for health monitoring and for diagnosing the whole rotor system.

IV. CONCLUSION

This paper presented a novel blade health monitoring method for wind turbines. This method combined statistical methods with design information, and learning algorithms based on real-time measurements that capture the effects of variability in wind conditions. Moreover, a bin splitting method was applied, to account for differences in dynamic characteristics and control strategies. Field tests were performed to show that the proposed method can monitor the overall rotor as a system. Therefore, reliable turbine operation can be guaranteed, and consequently, the economic feasibility of wind farms can be improved, especially for offshore wind farms. The blade monitoring method presented will be used as key monitoring technology of the SCADA system for the 2.5-GW offshore wind farm at the Southern Part of Yellow Sea in Korea.

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Ki-Yong Oh received the B.S. degree in mechanical engineering from Hanyang University, Seoul, Korea, in 2005, and the M.S. degree in mechanical engineering from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Daejeon, Korea, in 2006. He is currently pursuing the Ph.D. degree in mechan- ical engineering with the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA. He is a Senior Researcher with the Future Tech- nology Laboratory, KEPCO Research Institute, Dae- jeon. His current research interests include energy systems, more specifically, fault diagnosis/prognosis of wind turbines, wind resource assessment, and dynamic characterization of the energy storage system.

and dynamic characterization of the energy storage system. turbines. 1733 Joon-Young Park received the B.S., M.S.,
and dynamic characterization of the energy storage system. turbines. 1733 Joon-Young Park received the B.S., M.S.,

turbines.

1733

Joon-Young Park received the B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Daejeon, Korea, in 1995, 1997 and 2004, respectively. He is currently a Senior Researcher with the Offshore Wind Research and Development Center, KEPCO Research Institute, Daejeon. His current research interests include the robust control of non- linear systems, the robot systems for the electric power industry, and supervisory control and data acquisition/condition monitoring systems for wind

Jun-Shin Lee received the B.S. degree in electrical engineering from Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea, in 1985, and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in mechanical engineering from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Daejeon, Korea, in 1988 and 1995, respectively. He is currently a Chief Researcher with the Offshore Wind Research and Development Cen- ter, KEPCO Research Institute, Daejeon. His cur- rent research interests include vibration control of pipelines built in the nuclear power plants and devel- opment of predictive monitoring-algorithms for wind turbines.

of predictive monitoring-algorithms for wind turbines. Bogdan I. Epureanu received the Ph.D. degree in mechanical
of predictive monitoring-algorithms for wind turbines. Bogdan I. Epureanu received the Ph.D. degree in mechanical

Bogdan I. Epureanu received the Ph.D. degree in mechanical engineering from Duke University, Durham, NC, USA, in 1999. He joined the Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA, in 2002, where he is currently a Professor. His current research interests include structural health monitoring and sensors based on nonlinear dynamics and chaos, biodynamics, linear and nonlinear reduced order models, computer fluid dynamics, and nonlinear unsteady aerodynamics.

Jae-Kyung Lee received the B.S. degree in electrical engineering from Kyungpook National University, Daegu, Korea, in 2002, and the M.S. degree in electrical engineering from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Daejeon, Korea, in 2004. He is currently a Senior Researcher with the Offshore Wind Research and Development Center, KEPCO Research Institute, Daejeon. His current research interests include the development of high- performance robot control, hazardous robot systems, and supervisory control and data acquisition/condition monitoring systems for wind turbines.

hazardous robot systems, and supervisory control and data acquisition/condition monitoring systems for wind turbines.