Comparison of amplitude-based and phase-based methods for speed tracking in application to wind turbines

Jacek Urbanek, Tomasz Barszcz, Nader Sawalhi, Robert B. Randall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


Focus of the vibration expert community shifts more and more towards diagnosing machines subjected to varying rotational speeds and loads. Such machines require order analysis for proper fault detection and identification. In many cases phase markers (tachometers, encoders, etc) are used to help performing the resampling of the vibration signals to remove the speed fluctuations and smearing from the spectrum (order tracking). However, not all machines have the facility to install speed tracking sensors, due to design or cost reasons, and the signal itself has to then be used to extract this information. This paper is focused on the problem of speed tracking in wind turbines, which represent typical situations for speed and load variation. The basic design of a wind turbine is presented. Two main types of speed control i.e. stall and pitch control are presented,. The authors have investigated two methods of speed tracking, using information from the signal (without relying on a speed signal). One method is based on extracting a reference signal to use as a tachometer, while the other is phase-based (phase demodulation).Both methods are presented and applied to the vibration data from real wind turbines. The results are compared with each other and with the actual speed data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11
Number of pages1
JournalMetrology and Measurement Systems
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Instantaneous frequency
  • Speed estimation
  • Speed tracking
  • Wind turbines

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Instrumentation


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