Modelling of Wind Turbine Operation for Enhanced Power Electronics Reliability

Arsim Ahmedi, Mike Barnes, Victor Levi, Jesus Carmona Sanchez, Chong Ng, Paul Mckeever

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Enhancing power electronics (PE) converter reliability is crucial for ensuring a reliable operation of current and future operating Wind Turbines (WTs). Achieving high reliability of variable speed WT PE systems requires careful consideration of their operation, and particularly their thermal cycling. This paper presents a methodology for evaluating and reconsidering operational strategies of WTs with relation to the thermal loading and lifetime consumption of the converter. The methodology is applied to compare control strategies for the WT generator and evaluate their impact on the converter reliability by observation of the thermal cycles and by calculating the resultant lifetime consumption of those stress cycles. The thermal stress on both the Machine Side Converter (MSC) and the Grid Side Converter (GSC) is examined and compared. It is shown that the least reliable of the three evaluated control strategies is the one that tracks the power curve below rated speed most closely. This paper suggests that dynamic transients associated with the WT control largely influence the IGBT module wear-out and their modelling needs to be prioritized for lifetime studies. These dynamic transients are captured by the improved model whose value is confirmed for the comparisons in the case study of the paper.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1764-1776
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Transactions on Energy Conversion
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jan 2022


  • Converter Reliability
  • Lifetime Estimation
  • Power Electronics
  • Thermal Cycling
  • Wear Out
  • Wind Turbine Reliability


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