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Application of SCADA data in wind turbine fault detection – a review

Junyan Ma (Department of Intelligent Manufacturing Modern Industry, Xinjiang University, Urumqi, China)
Yiping Yuan (Department of Intelligent Manufacturing Modern Industry, Xinjiang University, Urumqi, China)

Sensor Review

ISSN: 0260-2288

Article publication date: 28 November 2022

Issue publication date: 2 January 2023




With the rapid increase in the number of installed wind turbines (WTs) worldwide, requirements and expenses of maintenance have also increased significantly. The condition monitoring (CM) of WT provides a strong “soft guarantee” for preventive maintenance. The supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system records a huge amount of condition data, which has become an effective means of CM. The main objective of the present study is to summarize the application of SCADA data to fault detection in wind turbines, analyze its advantages and disadvantages and predict the potential of future investigations on the use of SCADA data for fault detection.


The authors first review the means of WT CM and summarize the characteristics of CM based on SCADA data. To ensure the quality of SCADA data, data preprocessing methods are analyzed and compared. Then, the failure modes of the key components are discussed and the SCADA data used for fault detection of each component are compared. Moreover, the fault detection methods for WT are classified and a general framework for fault detection is proposed. Finally, the issues in the WT fault detection method based on SCADA data are reviewed.


Based on the performed analyses, it is found that although the fault detection accuracy based on SCADA data is relatively poor, it has low capital expenses and low computational cost. More specifically, when there is scarce fault data, the normal SCADA data can be used to detect the fault time. However, the specific fault type cannot be identified in this way. When a large amount of fault data are accumulated in the SCADA system, it can not only detect the occurrence time of the fault but also identify the specific fault type.


The main contribution of the present study is to summarize the pre-processing methods for SCADA data, the data required for fault detection of key components and the characteristics of the fault detection model. Then we propose a general fault detection framework for wind turbines based on SCADA data, where the maintenance workers can choose the appropriate fault detection method according to different fault detection requirements and data resources. This article is expected to provide guidance for fault detection based on time-series sensor signals and be of interest to researchers, maintenance workers and managers.



Graduate scientific research innovation project in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region XJ2020G015; National Natural Science Foundation of China 71961029; Special project for key research and development tasks of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region 2021B01003.


Ma, J. and Yuan, Y. (2023), "Application of SCADA data in wind turbine fault detection – a review", Sensor Review, Vol. 43 No. 1, pp. 1-11.



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