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Field-experience based root-cause analysis of power-converter failure in wind turbines

Felderfahrungsbasierte Ausfallursachenanalyse zu Frequenzumrichterausfällen in Windenergieanlagen
 
: Fischer, Katharina; Stalin, Thomas; Ramberg, Hans; Wenske, Jan; Wetter, Göran; Karlsson, Robert; Thiringer, Torbjörn

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Postprint urn:nbn:de:0011-n-3236151 (757 KByte PDF)
MD5 Fingerprint: 1b1ed0e473d70905a42b21ef4ca36367
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Erstellt am: 23.1.2015


IEEE transactions on power electronics 30 (2015), Nr.5, S.2481-2492
ISSN: 0885-8993
Englisch
Zeitschriftenaufsatz, Elektronische Publikation
Fraunhofer IWES ()
wind turbine; converter; power electronics; failure; reliability; root-cause analysis

Abstract
The frequent power-converter failure experienced in wind turbines has a strong economic impact through both the related turbine unavailability and the maintenance cost. Up to now, the prevailing mechanisms and causes underlying the converter failure in wind turbines are mostly unknown. Their identification is, however, a prerequisite for the development of effective solutions. This paper describes a multi-track empirical approach to failure analysis including systematic field-data evaluation, exploration of the real converter operating environment, and post-operational laboratory investigation of converter hardware. The analysis is carried out for two widely-used multi-MW wind turbines with low-voltage, IGBT-based converters (topology 1: doubly-fed induction generator with partially rated converter, topology 2: induction generator with fully-rated converter). The findings suggest that the principle failure mechanisms of power electronics found in other applications, namely solder degradation and bond-wire damage, play a minor role in the investigated types of wind turbines. Instead, the analysis reveals indications of insufficient protection of the converter hardware against the environment (salt, condensation, and insects) as well as indications of electrical overstress.

: http://publica.fraunhofer.de/dokumente/N-323615.html