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Classification and Detection of Wind Turbine Pitch Faults Through SCADA Data Analysis

Godwin, J.L.; Matthews, P.C.

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J.L. Godwin


The development of wind turbine pitch faults leads to increased mechanical component degradation, severe reduction of asset performance, and a direct increase in annual maintenance costs for the operator. This paper presents a highly accurate data driven classification system for the diagnosis of wind turbine pitch faults. Early diagnosis of these faults can enable operators to move from traditional corrective or time based maintenance towards a predictive or proactive maintenance strategy, whilst simultaneously mitigating risks and requiring no further capital expenditure. Our approach provides transparent, human-readable rules for maintenance operators which have been validated by an independent domain expert. Data from 8 wind turbines was collected every 10 minutes over a period of 28 months with 10 attributes utilised to diagnose pitch faults. Three fault classes are identified, each represented by 6000 instances in each of the testing and training sets. Of the turbines, 4 are used to train the system with a further 4 for validation. Repeated random sampling of the majority fault class was used to reduce computational overheads whilst retaining information content and balancing the training and validation sets to remove majority class bias. A classification accuracy of 85.50% was achieved with 14 human readable rules generated via the RIPPER inductive rule learner. Of these, 11 were described as “useful and intuitive” by an independent domain-expert. An expert system was developed utilising the model along with domain knowledge, resulting in a pitch fault diagnostic accuracy of 87.05% along with a 42.12% reduction in pitch fault alarms.


Godwin, J., & Matthews, P. (2013). Classification and Detection of Wind Turbine Pitch Faults Through SCADA Data Analysis. International journal of prognostics and health management, 4, Article 016

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jun 1, 2013
Publication Date Jul 23, 2013
Deposit Date Sep 28, 2015
Publicly Available Date Oct 9, 2015
Journal International journal of prognostics and health management.
Publisher Prognostics and Health Management Society
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 4
Article Number 016
Publisher URL


Published Journal Article (599 Kb)

Publisher Licence URL

Copyright Statement
Godwin & Matthews. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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