Prognostics-based adaptive control strategy for lifetime control of wind turbines

Variability in wind profiles in both space and time is responsible for fatigue loading in wind turbine components. Advanced control methods for mitigating structural loading in these components have been proposed in previous works. These also incorporate other objectives like speed and power regulation for above-rated wind speed operation. In recent years, lifetime control and extension strategies have been proposed to guarantee power supply and operational reliability of wind turbines. These control strategies typically rely on a fatigue load evaluation criteria to determine the consumed lifetime of these components, subsequently varying the control set point to guarantee a desired lifetime of the components. Most of these methods focus on controlling the lifetime of specific structural components of a wind turbine, typically the rotor blade or tower. Additionally, controllers are often designed to be valid about specific operating points and hence exhibit deteriorating performance in varying operating conditions. Therefore, they are not able to guarantee a desired lifetime in varying wind conditions. In this paper an adaptive lifetime control strategy is proposed for controlled aging of rotor blades to guarantee a desired lifetime while considering damage accumulation level in the tower. The method relies on an online structural health monitoring system to vary the lifetime controller gains based on a state-of-health (SoH) measure by considering the desired lifetime at every time step. For demonstration, a 1.5 MW National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) reference wind turbine is used. The proposed adaptive lifetime controller regulates structural loading in the rotor blades to guarantee a predefined damage level at the desired lifetime without sacrificing the speed regulation performance of the wind turbine. Additionally, a significant reduction in the tower fatigue damage is observed.


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