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Online Health Monitoring of Wind Turbine Generators and Power Converters (OHMWiT)
Start date: Jan 1, 2015, End date: Dec 31, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

This proposal is a 24-month Marie Curie IOF scheme which involves a British experienced researcher to undertake a training-through-research project on the development of cutting-edge wind turbine health monitoring technologies in liaison with Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA. Dr Wenping Cao has been conducting original research into electrical machines and power electronics at QUB, and has established an excellent track record. MIT is a world-leading research institution in the field with an international reputation of technological innovation, enterprise participation, and knowledge transfer. This project will integrate a novel online condition monitoring system into the wind turbine drive train to detect incipient electrical winding and bearing faults in the generators (e.g. doubly-fed induction generators and permanent magnet synchronous generators), and to estimate failure/ageing conditions of power electronic devices (e.g. insulated-gate bipolar transistors, silicon carbide metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistors and DC-link capacitors). It will help the EU to tackle climate change and contribute to the EU’s economy by developing next-generation resilient wind turbine systems and significantly widening the competences of the fellow to reach his professional maturity with interdisciplinary expertise and complementary skills unique to the ERA. It is timely because: (i) there is a pressing need for reliable and cost-effective condition monitoring technologies for wind turbines, especially for those large ones installed in offshore environments; (ii) the applicant is leading the development of QUB’s teaching and research activities in wind energy and the highest quality training under supervision of internationally leading scientists is indispensable for his career development which will in turn benefit the UK and the EU.
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