Wind Turbine Control for Load Reduction



This article reviews techniques for the control of wind turbines during power production. Pitch control is used primarily to limit power in high winds, but it also has an important effect on structural loads. Particularly as turbines become larger, there is increasing interest in designing controllers to mitigate loads as far as possible. Torque control in variable-speed turbines is used primarily to maximize energy capture below rated wind speed, and to limit the torque above rated, but it can also be used to reduce certain loads. The design of the control algorithms is clearly of prime importance. Additional sensors such as accelerometers and load sensors can also help the controller to achieve its objectives more effectively. By controlling the pitch of each blade independently, it is also possible to achieve important further reductions in loading. It is important to be able to quantify the benefits of any new controller. Although computer simulations are useful, field trials are also vital. The variability of the real wind means that particular care is needed in the design of the trials. Copyright © 2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.