Predictive maintenance and condition monitoring systems for wind turbines have seen increased adoption to minimize downtime, reducing operation and maintenance costs. On today’s wind power plants, the integrated supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system provides low- frequency operational data that can be leveraged to quantify a wind turbine’s health. The aim of this study is to utilize machine-learning techniques to predict axial cracking failures in wind turbine gearbox bearings up to 1 month ahead of time. The failures are assumed to have occurred when the investigated bearing was replaced. While current SCADA systems show the overall condition of a wind turbine, often they do not allow for the investigation of specific gearbox bearings’ health. To enrich bearing fault signatures, additional data are computed through physics-based models using gearbox design information. Based on SCADA data, modeled data, and bearing failure log data from an actual wind plant, the performances of different machine-learning models on unseen data are then evaluated using industry-standard metrics such as precision, recall, and F1 score. Results show the overall system performance enhancement in predicting bearing failure when modeled data are included with SCADA data. The reduction in terms of false alarms is about 50%, and improvement in terms of precision and F1 score is about 33% and 12% respectively, based on the best modeling case in this study.
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wind turbines, bearings, machine learning, predictive maintenance
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