Sample ProjectsIn this page, I describe a subset of my recent and ongoing projects. This page is not intended to be all-inclusive and should be considered a work-in-progress. Projects include
- Wind farm control for maximizing energy capture
- Wind turbine fault detection and protection
- Lidar-based control of wind turbines
- Regulation control for wind turbines
Wind farm control for maximizing energy capture
When turbines are grouped together in farms, areodynamic interaction between turbines
results in energy loss compared to the same number of turbines in the same wind
conditions without other turbines nearby. The energy loss cannot be completely
eliminated with control, but it can be mitigated. In this research, we developed a
simulation tool for modeling and an extremum seeking controller designed to increase
energy capture for turbines in an array by coordinating their control.
Wind turbine fault detection and protection
Fault detection and protection schemes are necessary to ensure safe turbine operation,
and this project will help to determine what strategies and sensors are necessary.
Pictured are a block diagram showing the hierarchy of fault detection compared to
operational and subsystem control (top) and a "before" and "after" set of data from a
detected fault in the blade pitch system. Before the fault was detected, a pitch gear
box oil problem was causing the pitch actuator to respond slowly even at its current
limit. After the fault was detected and corrected, the blade pitch was better able to
follow its commanded pitch angle.
Lidar-based wind turbine control
Advanced sensor technology such as Lidar (Light Detection and Ranging) enable more
advanced wind turbine control, including feedforward control for load reduction.
Many different strategies are possible, including the FXLMS-RLS feedforward technique
for which these results are shown. The Lidar measures the wind speed at one or more
points in front of the turbine and the FX-RLS algorithm adapts the coefficients in a
FIR filter in the feedforward path. In the results shown, the four feedforward
control cases (with various parameters) mitigate overspeed caused by a wind gust as
compared to the PI feedback only case, with load reduction also apparent in several
components. Funding provided by DOE/NREL.
Regulation control for wind turbines
Interest has recently skyrocketed in the use of wind turbines to improve operation of
the utility grid, for example to provide electrical power very quickly in response to
a grid fault. This project is focused on determining how responding to such commands
from the utility grid (via a wind farm operator) will affect individual turbines, as
well as the best control strategies for those turbines to provide the requested
services. Simulation and field tests are being conducted. Funding provided by DOE/NREL.