Optimal control of wind turbines for distributed power generation

Date
2015-08
Authors
Shaltout, Mohamed Lotfi Eid Nasr
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Abstract

Wind energy represents one of the major renewable energy sources that can meet future energy demands to sustain our lifestyle. During the last few decades, the installation of wind turbines for power generation has grown rapidly worldwide. Besides utility scale wind farms, distributed wind energy systems contributes to the rise in wind energy penetration. However, the expansion of distributed wind energy systems is faced by major challenges such as the system’s reliability in addition to the environmental impacts. This work is intended to explore various control algorithms to enable the distributed wind energy systems to face the aforementioned challenges. First of all, a stall regulated fixed speed wind turbine augmented with a variable ratio gearbox has been proven to enhance the wind energy capture at a relatively low cost, and considered as an attractive design for small wind energy systems. However, the high reliability advantage of traditional fixed-speed wind turbines can be affected by the integration of the variable ratio gearbox. A portion of this work is intended to develop a control algorithm that extends the variable ratio gearbox service life, thus improves overall system reliability and reduces the expected operational cost. Secondly, a pitch regulated variable speed wind turbines dominates the wind energy industry as it represents a balance between cost and flexibility of operation. They can be used for midsized wind power generation. Optimizing its wind energy capture while maintain high system reliability has been the one of the main focuses of many researchers. Another portion of this work introduces a model predictive control framework that enhances the reliability of pitch regulated variable speed wind turbines, thus improves their operational cost. Finally, one of the major environmental challenges facing the continuous growth of wind energy industry is the noise emitted from wind turbines. The severity of the noise emission problem is more significant for small and medium sized wind turbines installed in the vicinity of residential areas for distributed power generation. Consequently, the last portion of this work is intended to investigate the potential of wind turbine control design to reduce noise emission in different operating conditions with minimal impact on power generation

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