Lifetime comparison of power semiconductors in three-level converters for 10MW wind turbine systems

Udai Shipurkar, Emmanouil Lyrakis, Ke Ma, Henk Polinder, Jan A. Ferreira

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


The power electronic converter, especially the power semiconductor, is a major contributor to the failure rates of the wind turbine drivetrain. As the temperature is a major driving factor behind the failure mechanisms of these power semiconductors the choice of topology and switching strategy can have a significant effect on the reliability of the converter. This paper presents a detailed comparison of several three level converter topologies and switching strategies on the basis of loss distribution, thermal, and lifetime performance. This investigation is done through simulations on a 10MW direct drive permanent magnet drivetrain. The study shows that over-rating in the form of using overrated topologies, or the use of overrated components can result in large gains in lifetime expectancy and quantifies these gains. It concludes that the improvements offered by overrated topologies and overrated components are comparable and that use of the overrated topologies do not offer a significant advantage over the use of topologies with overrated components.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1366-1377
JournalIEEE Journal of Emerging and Selected Topics in Power Electronics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Direct Drive PM Generator
  • Failure analysis
  • Lifetime Estimation
  • Maintenance engineering
  • Multilevel Converter
  • Power electronics
  • Reliability
  • Semiconductor Device Relaibility
  • Switches
  • Topology
  • Wind Energy
  • Wind turbines


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