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Research Papers

The Performance of Wind Turbine Smart Rotor Control Approaches During Extreme Loads

[+] Author and Article Information
Matthew A. Lackner

Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, University of Massachusetts Amherst, 160 Governors Drive, Amherst, MA 01003lackner@ecs.umass.edu

Gijs A. M. van Kuik

Faculty of Aerospace Engineering, Delft University Wind Energy Research Institute, Kluyverweg 1, 2629 HS Delft, The Netherlandsg.a.m.vankuik@tudelft.nl

J. Sol. Energy Eng 132(1), 011008 (Dec 21, 2009) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4000352 History: Received November 03, 2008; Revised July 27, 2009; Published December 21, 2009

Reducing the loads experienced by wind turbine rotor blades can lower the cost of energy of wind turbines. “Smart rotor control” concepts have emerged as a solution to reduce fatigue loads on wind turbines. In this approach, aerodynamic load control devices are distributed along the span of the blade, and through a combination of sensing, control, and actuation, these devices dynamically control the blade loads. While smart rotor control approaches are primarily focused on fatigue load reductions, extreme loads on the blades may also be critical in determining the lifetime of components, and the ability to reduce these loads as well would be a welcome property of any smart rotor control approach. This research investigates the extreme load reduction potential of smart rotor control devices, namely, trailing edge flaps, in the operation of a 5 MW wind turbine. The controller utilized in these simulations is designed explicitly for fatigue load reductions; nevertheless its effectiveness during extreme loads is assessed. Simple step functions in the wind are used to approximate gusts and investigate the performance of two load reduction methods: individual flap control and individual pitch control. Both local and global gusts are simulated. The results yield important insight into the control approach that is utilized, and also into the differences between using individual pitch control and trailing edge flaps for extreme load reductions. Finally, the limitation of the assumption of quasisteady aerodynamic behavior is assessed.

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Copyright © 2010 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figures

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Figure 1

Feedback control diagram for load reduction controller

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Figure 2

Time series of hub height wind speeds for global step changes

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Figure 3

Diagram of local step change gust locations

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Figure 4

Global step change time series results

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Figure 5

Local step change time series results

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Figure 6

Evaluation of unsteadiness for global gust

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Figure 7

Evaluation of unsteadiness for local gust

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