Blade-Pitch Control for Wind Turbine Load Reductions

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Large wind turbines are subjected to the harmful loads that arise from the spatially uneven and temporally unsteady oncoming wind. Such loads are the known sources of fatigue damage that reduce the turbine operational lifetime, ultimately increasing the cost of wind energy to the end-users. In recent years, a substantial amount of studies has focused on blade pitch control and the use of real-time wind measurements, with the aim of attenuating the structural loads on the turbine blades and rotor. However, many of the research challenges still remain unsolved. For example, there are many classes of blade individual pitch control (IPC) techniques, but the link between these different but competing IPC strategies was not well investigated. In addition, another example is that many studies employed model predictive control (MPC) for its capability to handle the constraints of the blade pitch actuators and the measurement of the approaching wind, but often, wind turbine control design specifications are provided in frequency domain that is not well taken into account by the standard MPC. To address the missing links in various classes of the IPCs, this thesis aims to investigate and understand the similarities and differences between each of their performance. The results suggest that the choice of IPC designs rests largely with preferences and implementation simplicity. Based on these insights, a particular class of the IPCs lends itself readily for extracting tower motion from measurements of the blade loads. Thus, this thesis further proposes a tower load reduction control strategy based solely upon the blade load sensors. To tackle the problem of MPC on wind turbines, this thesis presents an MPC layer design upon a predetermined robust output-feedback controller. The MPC layer handles purely the feed-forward and constraint knowledge, whilst retaining the nominal robustness and frequency-domain properties of the predetermined closed loop. Thus, from an industrial perspective, the separate nature of the proposed control structure offers many immediate benefits. Firstly, the MPC control can be implemented without replacing the existing feedback controller. Furthermore, it provides a clear framework to quantify the benefits in the use of advance real-time measurements over the nominal output-feedback strategy.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages193
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-75531-1
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-75532-8
Publication statusPublished - 2018
SeriesSpringer Theses


  • Wind turbine
  • Load reductions
  • Blade-pitch control
  • Real-time wind measurements
  • Turbine tower motion signal
  • Model predictive control
  • MCP


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