Wind turbine manufacturers must operate the turbine at its limits to remain competitive by maximizing the revenue potential of wind farms. Electronic control is necessary to ensure a safe operation of the turbine while keeping a high energy conversion efficiency, reducing maintenance and prolonging the structural lifetime.
For next generation wind turbines, with many mechanical and electronic actuators, model predictive control is a very attractive technology to systematically handle multiple conflicting control objectives and system constraints. In this scenario, tuning conventional PID controllers would be extremely costly and time consuming, in particular when multiple actuators on the blades are present.
In this project, Alstom's engineers used embotech's tools to quickly design, prototype and test optimal multi-variable controllers for an existing wind turbine. By adopting this design methodology they can now systematically handle future turbine upgrades and changes in specifications.