Self-adapting controller developed for reducing tower loads

Thursday January 7, 2016 13:30

Within WP4, ECN develops new methods for controlling wind turbines in the presence of operational uncertainty, such as changes of the aerodynamic properties of the blades (due to, e.g., ice/dirt accretion and blade erosion), and changes of the properties of the support structure (e.g. tower frequency). Following an extensive analysis into sources of operational uncertainty and their associated effects on wind turbine performance, the study has been further focused on wind turbine control in situations where the support structure parameters deviate from their nominal design values. Such situations can, in practice, occur for onshore and especially offshore wind turbines due to aging, turbine installation, scour or marine sand dunes phenomena and biofouling. A study is performed by ECN on the amount to which nominal tower damping controller performance is affected by changes in the turbine natural frequency. A self-adapting control algorithm is developed that reduces fatigue loads on the tower. The new controller can potentially increase support structure lifetime by up to 10% through fatigue loads reduction.


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