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A Closed-Form Technique for the Reliability and Risk Assessment of Wind Turbine Systems
Mensah, Akwasi F.
This paper proposes a closed-form method to evaluate wind turbine system reliability and associated failure consequences. Monte Carlo simulation, a widely used approach for system reliability assessment, usually requires large numbers of computational experiments, while existing analytical methods are limited to simple system event configurations with a focus on average values of reliability metrics. By analyzing a wind turbine system and its components in a combinatorial yet computationally efficient form, the proposed approach provides an entire probability distribution of system failure that contains all possible configurations of component failure and survival events. The approach is also capable of handling unique component attributes such as downtime and repair cost needed for risk estimations, and enables sensitivity analysis for quantifying the criticality of individual components to wind turbine system reliability. Applications of the technique are illustrated by assessing the reliability of a 12-subassembly turbine system. In addition, component downtimes and repair costs of components are embedded in the formulation to compute expected annual wind turbine unavailability and repair cost probabilities, and component importance metrics useful for maintenance planning and research prioritization. Furthermore, this paper introduces a recursive solution to closed-form method and applies this to a 45-component turbine system. The proposed approach proves to be computationally efficient and yields vital reliability information that could be readily used by wind farm stakeholders for decision making and risk management.
wind turbine; system reliability; closed-form solutions; consequence analysis; risk