Windmill Tip-Speed Ratio Regulation Using an Impedance-Matching Control System

[+] Author and Article Information
J. Hendler

APMES, General Motors Technical Center, Warren, MI 48090

W. Flowers, A. Bell

Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139

J. Sol. Energy Eng 107(4), 326-334 (Nov 01, 1985) (9 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3267701 History: Received February 01, 1985; Online November 11, 2009


A discussion of the approaches to, and benefits of, windmill tip-speed ratio (TSR) control is presented. Rotational speed regulation via load-controlled impedance matching is identified as the most efficient control method. An all-mechanical, self-powered windmill TSR controller using this method is presented with a discussion of its operation and wind tunnel test results. The controller, which is applicable to a variety of windmill/load combinations, also provides for rotor start-up and for shutdown in high winds. A design methodology is presented and used to design a controller for a windmill driving an electrical generator and for the same windmill driving a water pump. These designs are verified with a digital computer simulation using real wind data. The TSR controller regulated windmill speed for efficient operation at all wind speeds, limited only by the power rating of the windmill and load machinery. The simulation results also demonstrate the economic feasibility of the system.

Copyright © 1985 by ASME
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