Predicting Frequency, Time-To-Repair and Costs of Wind Turbine Failures
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Operation and maintenance (O&M) costs, and associated uncertainty, for wind turbines (WTs) is a significant burden for wind farm operators. Many wind turbine failures are unpredictable while causing loss of energy production, and may also cause loss of asset. This study utilized 753 O&M event data from 21 wind turbines operating in Germany, to improve the prediction of failure frequency and associated costs. We applied Bayesian updating to predict wind turbine failure frequency and time-to-repair (TTR), in conjunction to machine learning techniques for assessing costs associated with failures. We found that time-to-failure (TTF), time-to-repair and the cost of failures depend on operational and environmental conditions. High elevation (>100 m) of the wind turbine installation was found to increase both the probability of failures and probability of delayed repairs. Furthermore, it was determined that direct-drive turbines are more favorable at locations with high capacity factor (more than 40%) whereas geared-drive turbines show lower failure costs than direct-drive ones at temperate-coastal locations with medium capacity factors (between 20% and 40%). Based on these findings, we developed a decision support tool that can guide a site-specific selection of wind turbine types, while providing a thorough estimation of O&M budgets.