Updatable Probabilistic Evaluation of Failure Rates of Mechanical Components in Power Take-Off Systems of Tidal Stream Turbines

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Abstract

This paper presents a method for the probabilistic evaluation of the failure rates of mechanical components in a typical power take-off (PTO) system of a horizontal-axis tidal stream turbine (HATT). The method is based on a modification of the method of the influence factors, when base failure rates, relevant influence factors and, subsequently, resulting failure rates are treated as random variables. The prior (i.e., initial) probabilistic distribution of the failure rates of a HATT component is generated using data for similar components from other industries, while taking into account actual characteristics of the component and site-specific operating and environmental conditions of the HATT. A posterior distribution of the failure rate is estimated numerically based on a Bayesian approach as new information about the component performance in an operating HATT becomes available. The posterior distribution is then employed to obtain the updated mean and lower and upper confidence limits of the failure rate. The proposed method is illustrated by applying it to the evaluation of the failure rates of two key components of the PTO system of a typical HATT—main seal and main bearing. In particular, it is shown that uncertainty associated with the method itself has a major influence on the failure rate evaluation. The proposed method is useful for the reliability assessment of both PTO designs of new HATTs and PTO systems of operating HATTs.
Original languageEnglish
Article number6586
JournalEnergies
Volume14
Issue number20
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 13 Oct 2021

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