Wind energy is recognized worldwide as cost-effective and environmentally friendly and is among the world's fastest-growing sources of electrical...
Wind energy is recognized worldwide as cost-effective and environmentally friendly and is among the world's fastest-growing sources of electrical energy. Despite the amazing growth in global wind power installations in recent years, science and engineering challenges still exist. Megawatt wind turbines are large, flexible structures that operate in uncertain, time-varying wind and weather conditions and lend themselves nicely to advanced control solutions. Advanced controllers can help achieve the overall goal of decreasing the cost of wind energy by increasing the efficiency, and thus the energy capture, or by reducing structural loading and increasing the lifetimes of the components and turbine structures.
In this talk, we will first provide an overview of wind energy systems. We will describe the main components of wind turbines, the sensors and actuators, the different operating regions, and we will outline the current state of the art in wind turbine modeling and control. We will then discuss our recent work in developing combined feed forward and feedback controllers for wind turbines using novel wind inflow sensing technologies. Model-inverse based controllers, H-infinity controllers, and model predictive controllers can be designed to take advantage of preview wind measurements to yield significant reductions in structural loading while maintaining the power capture levels of the wind turbine. We shall close by discussing a number of continuing challenges and highlighting topics of growing interest, including coordinated control of arrays of turbines on wind farms, modeling and control of floating offshore wind turbines, and the ability of wind turbines to provide active power control services to help stabilize the frequency of the utility grid.
Dr. Lucy Pao received all her degrees in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University, and she is currently the Richard and Joy Dorf Professor in ECEE at CU-Boulder. She has spent sabbaticals at Harvard University, University of California at Berkeley, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Her primary research area is in control systems, with diverse applications ranging from atomic force microscopes to megawatt wind turbines. Professor Pao is currently an IEEE Control Systems Society (CSS) Distinguished Lecturer, a member of the IEEE CSS Board of Governors, and General Chair for the 2013 American Control Conference. She was recently (2012) elevated to IEEE Fellow and was a member of the 2010-2011 US Defense Science Study Group. She was also the founding Scientific Director (2007-2011) for the Center for Research and Education in Wind (CREW), a multi-institutional wind energy center involving the University of Colorado Boulder, the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Colorado School of Mines, and Colorado State University, in partnership with the US National Center for Atmospheric Research and the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.