Fatigue Reliability of Wind Turbine Fleets: The Effect of Uncertainty on Projected Costs

[+] Author and Article Information
P. S. Veers

Sandia National Laboratories, Wind Energy Technology Department, MS 0708, Albuquerque, NM 87185-0708

J. Sol. Energy Eng 118(4), 222-227 (Nov 01, 1996) (6 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2871782 History: Received September 01, 1995; Revised February 01, 1996; Online February 14, 2008


The cost of repairing or replacing failed components depends on the number and timing of failures. Although the total probability of individual component failure is sometimes interpreted as the percentage of components likely to fail, this perception is often far from correct. Different amounts of common versus independent uncertainty can cause different numbers of components to be at risk of failure. The FAROW tool for fatigue and reliability analysis of wind turbines makes it possible for the first time to conduct a detailed economic analysis of the effects of uncertainty on fleet costs. By dividing the uncertainty into common and independent parts, the percentage of components expected to fail in each year of operation is estimated. Costs are assigned to the failures and the yearly costs and present values are computed. If replacement cost is simply a constant multiple of the number of failures, the average, or expected cost is the same as would be calculated by multiplying by the probability of individual component failure. However, more complicated cost models require a breakdown of how many components are likely to fail. This breakdown enables the calculation of costs associated with various probability of occurrence levels, illustrating the variability in projected costs. Estimating how the numbers of components expected to fail evolves over time is also useful in calculating the present value of projected costs and in understanding the nature of the financial risk.

Copyright © 1996 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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