A Systems Approach towards Reliability-Centred Maintenance (RCM) of Wind Turbines

Joel Igba, Kazem Alemzadeh, Ike Anyanwu-Ebo, Paul Martin Gibbons

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Contribution (Conference Proceeding)


Wind turbines are a proven source of clean energy with wind power energy harvesting technologies supplying about 3% of global
electricity consumption. However there is an increasing demand on maintenance and operational improvements since turbines
have been plagued with downtime problems of major components e.g. gearboxes and generators, especially with offshore
turbines which are difficult to access. Reliability Centric Maintenance (RCM) is a way of capturing the potential causes of
downtime and poor performance by preventing failures and having a proactive approach to operations and maintenance (O&M).
However, for a large fleet of turbines, adopting the RCM approach becomes difficult due to the complexities that arise as a result
of the interactions between individual elements that make up the system in the product lifecycle. This paper discusses how a
systems thinking approach can be used to identify the relevant aspects and possible interactions between the RCM approach and
wind turbine gearboxes and also how the gaps that exist within the system can be closed so as to add value to business. The
outcome of the paper is a proposal for applying a systems approach to wind turbine gearbox operation and maintenance,
optimising the asset value adding contribution at minimal total cost to the operator.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationElsevier
Subtitle of host publicationProcedia Computer Science
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 19 Mar 2013


  • Systems Thinking; Systems Engineering; Reliability-Centred Maintenance (RCM); Wind Turbine; Failure Mode, Effects and Criticlity Analysis (FMECA); Gearboxes


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