Signal-based Gas Leakage Detection for Fluid Power Accumulators in Wind Turbines

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This paper describes the development and application of a signal-based fault detection method for identifying gas leakage in hydraulic accumulators used in wind turbines. The method uses Multiresolution Signal Decomposition (MSD) based on wavelets for feature extraction from a~single fluid pressure measurement located close to the accumulator. Gas leakage is shown to create increased variations in this pressure signal. The Root Mean Square (RMS) of the detail coefficient Level 9 from the MSD is found as the most sensitive and robust fault indicator of gas leakage. The method is verified on an experimental setup allowing for the replication of the conditions for accumulators in wind turbines. Robustness is tested in a multi-fault environment where gas and external fluid leakage occurs simultaneously. In total, 24 experiments are performed, which show that the method is sensitive to gas leakage in the desired range and can be isolated from external fluid leakage. Additionally, the robustness to other operating conditions, such as wind speeds between rated and cut-off, turbulence intensity and ambient temperature is evaluated via simulations of a pitch system in a wind turbine using the Fatigue, Aerodynamics, Structures and Turbulence program (FAST). Simulation shows that robustness is affected at low ambient temperatures, however, detection is permitted in the range of 22-60 degC.
Original languageEnglish
Article number331
Issue number3
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2017


  • Wind turbine pitch system;
  • Fluid power
  • Piston accumulator
  • Fault Detection and Isolation (FDI)
  • Wavelet transform
  • Leakage


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