Publication Details

Zhang, C. Wen., Zhang, T., Chen, N. & Jin, T. (2013). Reliability modeling and analysis for a novel design of modular converter system of wind turbines. Reliability Engineering and System Safety, 111 86-94.


Converters play a vital role in wind turbines. The concept of modularity is gaining in popularity in converter design for modern wind turbines in order to achieve high reliability as well as cost-effectiveness. In this study, we are concerned with a novel topology of modular converter invented by Hjort, Modular converter system with interchangeable converter modules. World Intellectual Property Organization, Pub. No. WO29027520 A2; 5 March 2009, in this architecture, the converter comprises a number of identical and interchangeable basic modules. Each module can operate in either AC/DC or DC/AC mode, depending on whether it functions on the generator or the grid side. Moreover, each module can be reconfigured from one side to the other, depending on the system's operational requirements. This is a shining example of full-modular design. This paper aims to model and analyze the reliability of such a modular converter. A Markov modeling approach is applied to the system reliability analysis. In particular, six feasible converter system models based on Hjort's architecture are investigated. Through numerical analyses and comparison, we provide insights and guidance for converter designers in their decision-making.



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