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The wind power industry is continuously developing bringing to the market larger and larger wind turbines. Nowadays reliability is more of a concern than in the past especially for the offshore wind turbines since the access to offshore wind turbines in case of failures is both costly and difficult. Lifetime modeling of future large wind turbines is needed in order to make reliability predictions about these new wind turbines early in the design phase. By doing reliability prediction in the design phase the manufacturer can ensure that the new wind turbines will live long enough. This paper represents an overview of the different aspects of lifetime modeling of high power IGBTs in wind power applications. In the beginning, wind turbine reliability survey results are briefly reviewed in order to gain an insight into wind turbine subassembly failure rates and associated downtimes. After that the most common high power IGBT failure mechanisms and lifetime prediction models are reviewed in more detail.
Date of Conference: 27-30 June 2011