Including the power regulation strategy in aerodynamic optimization of wind turbines for increased design freedom

J. Iori*, M. K. McWilliam, M. Stolpe

*Corresponding author for this work

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In wind turbine optimization, the standard power regulation strategy follows a constrained trajectory based on the maximum power coefficient. It can be updated automatically during the optimization process by solving a nested maximization problem at each iteration. We argue that this model does not take advantage of the load alleviation potential of the regulation strategy and additionally requires significant computational effort. An alternative approach is proposed, where the rotational speed and pitch angle control points for the entire operation range are set as design variables, changing the problem formulation from nested to one-level. The nested and one-level formulations are theoretically and numerically compared on different aerodynamic blade design optimization problems for AEP maximization. The aerodynamics are calculated with a steady-state blade element momentum method. The one-level approach increases the design freedom of the problem and allows introducing a secondary objective in the design of the regulation strategy. Numerical results indicate that a standard regulation strategy can still emerge from a one-level optimization. Second, we illustrate that novel optimal regulation strategies can emerge from the one-level optimization approach. This is demonstrated by adding a thrust penalty term and a constraint on the maximum thrust. A region of minimal thrust tracking and a peak-shaving strategy appear automatically in the optimal design.
Original languageEnglish
JournalWind Energy
Issue number10
Pages (from-to)1791-1811
Number of pages21
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Control co-design
  • Multi-disciplinary analysis and optimization
  • Power regulation strategy
  • Wind turbine blade design


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