University of Hertfordshire

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Detection of faulty high speed wind turbine bearing using signal intensity estimator technique

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Mohamed Elforjani
  • Suliman Shanbr
  • Eric Bechhoefer
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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-69
Number of pages17
JournalWind Energy
Early online date2 Oct 2017
Publication statusPublished - 11 Dec 2017


Bearings are typically used in wind turbines to support shafts and gears that increase rotational speed from a low speed rotor to a higher speed electrical generator. For various bearing applications, condition monitoring using vibration measurements has remained a subject of intense study to the present day since several decades. Various signal processing techniques are used to analyse vibration signals and extract features related to defects. Statistical indicators such as Crest Factor (CF) and Kurtosis (KU) were reported as very sensitive indicators when the presence of the defects is pronounced, whilst their values may come down to the level of undamaged components when the damage is well advanced. Further, these indicators were applied to an acquired data from proposed diagnostic models, test rigs, and instrumentations that were specifically used for particular research tests, and thus, it is essential to undertake further investigations and analysis to assess the influence of other factors such as the structural noise and other operating conditions on the real-world applications. With this in mind, the present work proposes Signal Intensity Estimator (SIE) as a new technique to discriminate individual types of early natural damage in real-world wind turbine bearings. Comparative results between SIE and conventional indicators such as KU and CF are also presented. It was concluded that SIE has an advantage over the other fault indicators if sufficient data are provided.


This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Mohamed Elforjani, Suliman Shanbr, and Eric Bechhoefer, ‘Detection of faulty high speed wind turbine bearing using signal intensity estimator technique’, Wind Energy, October 2017, which has been published in final form at Under embargo. embargo end date: 2 October 2018. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.

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