Reduction of Structural Loads in Wind Turbines Based on an Adapted Control Strategy Concerning Online Fatigue Damage Evaluation Models

In recent years, the rapidly-increasing demand for energy generation from renewable resources has been noticeable. Additional requirements are consequently set on Wind Turbine (WT) systems, primarily reflected in WT size and power rating increases. With the size increase of WT, structural loads/fatigue stress on the wind turbine become larger, simultaneously leading to its accelerated aging and the shortening of its lifetime. The primary goal of this contribution is to establish an approach for structural load reduction while retaining or slightly sacrificing the power production requirements. The approach/control strategy includes knowledge about current fatigue damage and/or damage increments and consists of multi-input multi-output controllers with variable control parameters. By the appropriate selection of the designed Multi-Input Multi-Output (MIMO) controllers, the mitigation of structural loads in accordance with a predefined range of accumulated fatigue damage or damage increments, exactly to the extent required to provide a predefined service lifetime, is obtained. The validation of the aforementioned control strategy is based on the simulation results and the WT model developed by National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). The obtained results prove the efficiency of the proposed control strategy with respect to the reduction of rotor blade bending moments, simultaneously exhibiting no significant impact on the resulting power generation.


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