Electrical and non-electrical environment of wind turbine main components

J. Holboell, M. Henriksen, R.S. Olsen, A. Jensen, E. Koldby

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Focus on the development of offshore wind power, and expectations to turbines and substations to operate reliably under all conditions, causes interest in determining exactly what is unique about the wind turbine environment. If not properly dealt with, this environment can shorten the lifetime of the electrical components or even lead to catastrophic component failure. In the present paper, results are presented from investigations on existing standards which give detailed descriptions of the environmental and operational conditions of wind turbine components. It is found that there is currently a lack of application standards for wind turbine electrical equipment. Component-level environmental requirements as given in equipment-specific standards are compared with the environment described in the IEC's 61400 series concerning wind turbines. Based on methods defined in IEC 60721, the non-electrical environment of wind turbine is described by means of specific classes. In the paper, new class combinations are suggested covering the different operating conditions the components are exposed to. The class combinations include factors of climatic, mechanical and chemical character. The factors occur in different severities and combinations based on the geographic location. Finally the specific electrical environment of wind turbines is described based on intense measurements and analyses of the load current in different wind turbines at different locations. Very fast variations partly of considerable magnitude were found and quantified.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2012
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2012
EventCIGRE Session 44 - Palais des Congrès, Paris, France
Duration: 26 Aug 201231 Aug 2012


ConferenceCIGRE Session 44
LocationPalais des Congrès


  • Standards
  • Turbine components
  • Wind power
  • Wind turbines


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