Real‐time rotor effective wind speed estimation based on actuator disc theory: Design and full‐scale experimental validation

Alan W.H. Lio*, Fanzhong Meng, Gunner Chr. Larsen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


The use of state estimation techniques offers a means of inferring rotor effective wind speed from standard measurements of wind turbines. Typical wind speed estimators rely upon a pre‐computed quasi‐steady aerodynamic mapping, which describes the relationship between pitch angle and tip‐speed ratio and the power coefficient. In practice, the static mapping does not capture the influence of turbine structural dynamics and atmospheric turbulence, inevitably resulting in poor performance of the wind speed estimation. In addition, the turbine aerodynamic properties might not be easily accessible. Thus, this paper presents a rotor effective wind speed estimation method that obviates the requirement for prior knowledge of turbine power coefficients. Specifically, the proposed method exploits a simple actuator disc model, where the aerodynamic power and thrust coefficients can be characterized in terms of axial induction factors. Based on this insight and standard turbine measurements, real‐time estimation of rotor effective wind speed and axial induction factors can then be achieved using a simplified turbine drive‐train model and an extended Kalman filter. In addition, the actuator disc model can be updated easily over time by calibrating solely two correction factors. Thus, the proposed algorithm presents an alternative for estimating the rotor effective wind speed, which is valuable for numerous applications, for example, LiDAR‐assisted control and coherence studies.
Original languageEnglish
JournalWind Energy
Issue number11
Pages (from-to)1123-1139
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Control
  • Kalman filtering
  • Rotor effective wind speed
  • State estimation


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