The evolution of the wind industry in the last decade has not only seen growth in the installed capacity of turbines and innovation within the industry, but has also seen an increase in research activities in this domain. Gearbox field performance, characterised by reliability, availability and maintainability (RAM), has been a major driver in the research domain due to challenges the industry has faced in gearbox design and operations and maintenance (O&M) in recent years. This challenge results from the fact that wind turbines (WTs) are designed to operate in extreme and remote environments. Hence, their main components (especially the gearbox) are subjected to extreme loading which influence their service life. The main challenge for WT O&M is due to a combination of the remoteness of wind farms, the complex repair procedures and the harshness of the environment in which wind turbines operate. Also the remote location and harsh weather conditions mean that condition monitoring (CM) and maintenance modelling techniques fall short in detecting impending failures and hence planning for scheduled maintenance.
1) the use of in-service data to improve product performance characterised by (RAM) and supportability, and also for the feedback of in-service knowledge to design and delivery of new systems.
2) The monitoring technique has been applied to detect two types of failure/damage modes. The results shows that failure can be detected as early as 1 month before complete damage, hence giving WF managers time to plan and schedule O&M.