Comparative analysis of neural network and regression based condition monitoring approaches for wind turbine fault detection

Meik Schlechtingen, Ilmar Santos

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This paper presents the research results of a comparison of three different model based approaches for wind turbine fault detection in online SCADA data, by applying developed models to five real measured faults and anomalies. The regression based model as the simplest approach to build a normal behavior model is compared to two artificial neural network based approaches, which are a full signal reconstruction and an autoregressive normal behavior model. Based on a real time series containing two generator bearing damages the capabilities of identifying the incipient fault prior to the actual failure are investigated. The period after the first bearing damage is used to develop the three normal behavior models. The developed or trained models are used to investigate how the second damage manifests in the prediction error. Furthermore the full signal reconstruction and the autoregressive approach are applied to further real time series containing gearbox bearing damages and stator temperature anomalies.The comparison revealed all three models being capable of detecting incipient faults. However, they differ in the effort required for model development and the remaining operational time after first indication of damage. The general nonlinear neural network approaches outperform the regression model. The remaining seasonality in the regression model prediction error makes it difficult to detect abnormality and leads to increased alarm levels and thus a shorter remaining operational period. For the bearing damages and the stator anomalies under investigation the full signal reconstruction neural network gave the best fault visibility and thus led to the highest confidence level.
Original languageEnglish
JournalMechanical Systems and Signal Processing
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)1849-1875
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • Normal behaviormodels
  • SCADA data
  • Neural networks
  • Wind turbine
  • Fault detection
  • Condition monitoring


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