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Refinements and Tests of an Advanced Controller to Mitigate Fatigue Loads in the Controls Advanced Research Turbine: Preprint

Description: Wind turbines are complex, nonlinear, dynamic systems forced by aerodynamic, gravitational, centrifugal, and gyroscopic loads. The aerodynamics of wind turbines are nonlinear, unsteady, and complex. Turbine rotors are subjected to a complicated 3-D turbulent wind inflow field, with imbedded coherent vortices that drive fatigue loads and reduce lifetime. Design of control algorithms for wind turbines must account for multiple control objectives. Future large multi-megawatt turbines must be designed with lighter weight structures, using active controls to mitigate fatigue loads, while maximizing energy capture. Active damping should be added to these dynamic structures to maintain stability for operation in a complex environment. At the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), we have designed, implemented, and tested advanced controls to maximize energy extraction and reduce structural dynamic loads. These control designs are based on linear models of the turbine that are generated by specialized modeling software. In this paper, we present field test results of an advanced control algorithm to mitigate blade, tower, and drivetrain loads in Region 3.
Date: December 1, 2010
Creator: Wright, A. & Fleming, P.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Comparing State-Space Multivariable Controls to Multi-SISO Controls for Load Reduction of Drivetrain-Coupled Modes on Wind Turbines through Field-Testing: Preprint

Description: This paper presents the structure of an ongoing controller comparison experiment at NREL's National Wind Technology Center; the design process for the two controllers compared in this phase of the experiment, and initial comparison results obtained in field-testing. The intention of the study is to demonstrate the advantage of using modern multivariable methods for designing control systems for wind turbines versus conventional approaches. We will demonstrate the advantages through field-test results from experimental turbines located at the NWTC. At least two controllers are being developed side-by-side to meet an incrementally increasing number of turbine load-reduction objectives. The first, a multiple single-input, single-output (m-SISO) approach, uses separately developed decoupled and classicially tuned controllers, which is, to the best of our knowledge, common practice in the wind industry. The remaining controllers are developed using state-space multiple-input and multiple-output (MIMO) techniques to explicity account for coupling between loops and to optimize given known frequency structures of the turbine and disturbance. In this first publication from the study, we present the structure of the ongoing controller comparison experiment, the design process for the two controllers compared in this phase, and initial comparison results obtained in field-testing.
Date: December 1, 2011
Creator: Fleming, P. A.; van Wingerden, J. W. & Wright, A. D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Resonant Vibrations Resulting from the Re-Engineering of a Constant-Speed 2-Bladed Turbine to a Variable-Speed 3-Bladed Turbine

Description: The CART3 (Controls Advanced Research Turbine, 3-bladed) at the National Wind Technology Center has recently been converted from a 2-bladed constant speed machine to a 3-bladed variable speed machine designed specically for controls research. The purpose of this conversion was to develop an advanced controls field-testing platform which has the more typical 3-bladed configuration. A result of this conversion was the emergence of several resonant vibrations, some of which initially prevented operation of the turbine until they could be explained and resolved. In this paper, the investigations into these vibrations are presented as 'lessons-learned'. Additionally, a frequency-domain technique called waterfall plotting is discussed and its usefulness in this research is illustrated.
Date: December 1, 2010
Creator: Fleming, P.; Wright, A. D. & Finersh, L. J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Combining Droop Curve Concepts with Control Systems for Wind Turbine Active Power Control: Preprint

Description: Wind energy is becoming a larger portion of the global energy portfolio and wind penetration has increased dramatically in certain regions of the world. This increasing wind penetration has driven the need for wind turbines to provide active power control (APC) services to the local utility grid, as wind turbines do not intrinsically provide frequency regulation services that are common with traditional generators. It is common for large scale wind turbines to be decoupled from the utility grid via power electronics, which allows the turbine to synthesize APC commands via control of the generator torque and blade pitch commands. Consequently, the APC services provided by a wind turbine can be more flexible than those provided by conventional generators. This paper focuses on the development and implementation of both static and dynamic droop curves to measure grid frequency and output delta power reference signals to a novel power set point tracking control system. The combined droop curve and power tracking controller is simulated and comparisons are made between simulations using various droop curve parameters and stochastic wind conditions. The tradeoffs involved with aggressive response to frequency events are analyzed. At the turbine level, simulations are performed to analyze induced structural loads. At the grid level, simulations test a wind plant's response to a dip in grid frequency.
Date: June 1, 2012
Creator: Buckspan, A.; Aho, J.; Pao, L.; Fleming, P. & Jeong, Y.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Tutorial of Wind Turbine Control for Supporting Grid Frequency through Active Power Control: Preprint

Description: As wind energy becomes a larger portion of the world's energy portfolio and wind turbines become larger and more expensive, wind turbine control systems play an ever more prominent role in the design and deployment of wind turbines. The goals of traditional wind turbine control systems are maximizing energy production while protecting the wind turbine components. As more wind generation is installed there is an increasing interest in wind turbines actively controlling their power output in order to meet power setpoints and to participate in frequency regulation for the utility grid. This capability will be beneficial for grid operators, as it seems possible that wind turbines can be more effective at providing some of these services than traditional power plants. Furthermore, establishing an ancillary market for such regulation can be beneficial for wind plant owner/operators and manufacturers that provide such services. In this tutorial paper we provide an overview of basic wind turbine control systems and highlight recent industry trends and research in wind turbine control systems for grid integration and frequency stability.
Date: March 1, 2012
Creator: Aho, J.; Buckspan, A.; Laks, J.; Fleming, P.; Jeong, Y.; Dunne, F. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

SOWFA Super-Controller: A High-Fidelity Tool for Evaluating Wind Plant Control Approaches

Description: This paper presents a new tool for testing wind plant controllers in the Simulator for Offshore Wind Farm Applications (SOWFA). SOWFA is a high-fidelity simulator for the interaction between wind turbine dynamics and the fluid flow in a wind plant. The new super-controller testing environment in SOWFA allows for the implementation of the majority of the wind plant control strategies proposed in the literature.
Date: January 1, 2013
Creator: Fleming, P.; Gebraad, P.; van Wingerden, J. W.; Lee, S.; Churchfield, M.; Scholbrock, A. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

SOWFA + Super Controller User's Manual

Description: SOWFA + Super Controller is a modification of the NREL's SOWFA tool which allows for a user to apply multiturbine or centralized wind plant control algorithms within the high-fidelity SOWFA simulation environment. The tool is currently a branch of the main SOWFA program, but will one day will be merged into a single version. This manual introduces the tool and provides examples such that a user can implement their own super controller and set up and run simulations. The manual only discusses enough about SOWFA itself to allow for the customization of controllers and running of simulations, and details of SOWFA itself are reported elsewhere Churchfield and Lee (2013); Churchfield et al. (2012). SOWFA + Super Controller, and this manual, are in alpha mode.
Date: August 1, 2013
Creator: Fleming, P.; Gebraad, P.; Churchfield, M.; Lee, S.; Johnson, K.; Michalakes, J. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Field Testing LIDAR Based Feed-Forward Controls on the NREL Controls Advanced Research Turbine: Preprint

Description: Wind turbines are complex, nonlinear, dynamic systems driven by aerodynamic, gravitational, centrifugal, and gyroscopic forces. The aerodynamics of wind turbines are nonlinear, unsteady, and complex. Turbine rotors are subjected to a chaotic three-dimensional (3-D) turbulent wind inflow field with imbedded coherent vortices that drive fatigue loads and reduce lifetime. In order to reduce cost of energy, future large multimegawatt turbines must be designed with lighter weight structures, using active controls to mitigate fatigue loads, maximize energy capture, and add active damping to maintain stability for these dynamically active structures operating in a complex environment. Researchers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and University of Stuttgart are designing, implementing, and testing advanced feed-back and feed-forward controls in order to reduce the cost of energy for wind turbines.
Date: January 1, 2013
Creator: Scholbrock, A. K.; Fleming, P. A.; Fingersh, L. J.; Wright, A. D.; Schlipf, D.; Haizmann, F. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Active Power Controls from Wind Power: Bridging the Gaps

Description: This paper details a comprehensive study undertaken by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Electric Power Research Institute, and the University of Colorado to understand how the contribution of wind power providing active power control (APC) can benefit the total power system economics, increase revenue streams, improve the reliability and security of the power system, and provide superior and efficient response while reducing any structural and loading impacts that may reduce the life of the wind turbine or its components. The study includes power system simulations, control simulations, and actual field tests using turbines at NREL's National Wind Technology Center (NWTC). The study focuses on synthetic inertial control, primary frequency control, and automatic generation control, and analyzes timeframes ranging from milliseconds to minutes to the lifetime of wind turbines, locational scope ranging from components of turbines to large wind plants to entire synchronous interconnections, and additional topics ranging from economics to power system engineering to control design.
Date: January 1, 2014
Creator: Ela, E.; Gevorgian, V.; Fleming, P.; Zhang, Y. C.; Singh, M.; Muljadi, E. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department