Investigation of isolation forest for wind turbine pitch system condition monitoring using SCADA data

Conor McKinnon, James Carroll, Alasdair McDonald, Sofia Koukoura, Charlie Plumley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
10 Downloads (Pure)


Wind turbine pitch system condition monitoring is an active area of research, and this paper investigates the use of the Isolation Forest Machine Learning model and Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition system data for this task. This paper examines two case studies, turbines with hydraulic or electric pitch systems, and uses an Isolation Forest to predict failure ahead of time. This novel technique compared several models per turbine, each trained on a different number of months of data. An anomaly proportion for three different time-series window lengths was compared, to observe trends and peaks before failure. The two cases were compared, and it was found that this technique could detect abnormal activity roughly 12 to 18 months before failure for both the hydraulic and electric pitch systems for all unhealthy turbines, and a trend upwards in anomalies could be found in the immediate run up to failure. These peaks in anomalous behaviour could indicate a future failure and this would allow for on-site maintenance to be scheduled. Therefore, this method could improve scheduling planned maintenance activity for pitch systems, regardless of the pitch system employed.
Original languageEnglish
Article number6601
Number of pages21
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - 13 Oct 2021


  • isolation forest
  • wind turbine
  • condition monitoring
  • pitch system
  • SCADA data
  • anomaly detection


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