Wind turbine fault detection using counter-based residual thresholding

Ahmet Arda Ozdemir, Peter Seiler, Gary J. Balas

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

74 Scopus citations


Up-down counters are commonly used in the aerospace industry for fault detection thresholding. This paper applies the up-down counter technique to detect wind turbine faults. The thresholding problem involves a tradeoff between false alarms and missed detections. Counter based thresholding can detect smaller faults with higher probability and lower false alarms than is possible using simple constant thresholds. This improvement is achieved by effectively introducing dynamics into the thresholding logic as opposed to decisioning based on a single time step. Up down counters are applied to the development of a fault detection system for a commercial sized 4.8MW wind turbine. Realistic fault scenarios in the sensing, actuation and drivetrain subsystems are considered. It is seen that most faults can be detected with fast detection times and minimal false alarms without implementation of more complex filtering and detection techniques on residuals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 18th IFAC World Congress
PublisherIFAC Secretariat
Number of pages6
Edition1 PART 1
ISBN (Print)9783902661937
StatePublished - 2011

Publication series

NameIFAC Proceedings Volumes (IFAC-PapersOnline)
Number1 PART 1
ISSN (Print)1474-6670

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
⋆ This work was supported by the University of Minnesota Institute on the Environment, IREE Grant No. RS-0039-09, the US Department of Energy Contract No. DE-EE0002980 and the US National Science Foundation under Grant No. NSF-CNS-0931931. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the University of Minnesota, Department of Energy or National Science Foundation.


  • Counters
  • Fault detection
  • Threshold selection
  • Wind Turbine


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