Optimal control for a modern wind turbine system
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Wind energy is the most abundant resource in the renewable energy portfolio. Increasing the wind capture capability improves the economic viability of this technology, and makes it more competitive with traditional fossil-fuel based supplies. Therefore, it is necessary to explore control strategies that maximize aerodynamic efficiency, thus, the wind energy capture. Several control algorithms are developed and compared during this research. A traditional feedback control is adapted as the benchmark approach, where the turbine torque and the blade pitch angle are used to control the wind turbine operation during partial and full load operations, correspondingly. Augmented feedback control algorithms are then developed to improve the wind energy harvesting. Optimal control methodologies are extensively explored to achieve maximal wind energy capture. Numerical optimization techniques, such as direct shooting optimization are employed. The direct shooting method convert the optimal control problem into a parameter optimization problem and use nonlinear programming algorithm to find the optimal solution. The dynamic programming, a global optimization approach over a time horizon, is also investigated. The dynamic programming finds the control inputs for the blade pitch angle and speed ratio to maximize the power coefficient, based on historical wind data. A dynamic wind turbine model has been developed to facilitate this process by characterizing the performance of the various possible input scenarios. Simulation results of each algorithm on real wind site data are presented to compare the wind energy capture under the proposed control algorithms with the traditional feedback control design. The result of the tradeoff analysis between the computation expense and the energy capture is also reported.