Wind turbine reliability is an important issue for wind energy cost minimization, especially by reduction of operation and maintenance costs for critical components and by increasing wind turbine availability. To develop an optimal operation and maintenance plan for critical components, it is necessary to understand the physics of their failure and be able to develop reliability prediction models. Such a model is proposed in this paper for an IGBT power electronic module. IGBTs are critical components in wind turbine converter systems. These are multi-layered devices where layers are soldered to each other and they operate at a thermal-power cycling environment. Temperature loadings affect the reliability of soldered joints by developing cracks and fatigue processes that eventually result in failure. Based on Miner’s rule a linear damage model that incorporates a crack development and propagation processes is discussed. A statistical analysis is performed for appropriate model parameter selection. Based on the proposed model, a layout for component life prediction with crack movement is described in details.
- Wind Turbines
- Electrical Component Reliability
- IGBT Damage Model
- SnAg Solder Damage Model