Available Technology

Adaptive Pitch Control for Variable Speed Wind Turbines

Wind energy is increasingly recognized as a viable option for complementing and even replacing other types of energy such as fossil fuels. In the early development of wind energy, the majority of wind turbines or wind turbine generators were constructed for operation at a constant speed, but more recently, the trend is toward using variable-speed wind turbines to better capture available wind power. In most cases, wind turbine pitch angles can be adjusted to control the operation of the variable speed wind turbine. Wind turbine manufacturers use variable-speed turbines to capture available wind power over a wide range of wind speeds. To be effective, though, these variable speed wind turbines require active control systems to react to changing wind and other operating conditions. One concept that is fundamental to the control dynamics for a wind generator is that changing speed is a relatively slow process due to the large inertia values involved, and this makes it difficult to use a power converter in the turbine or in the turbine’s “plant” to control the rotor speed. As a result, manufacturers and operators of variable speed wind turbines also use pitch control on an ongoing basis to regulate power flow at the high speed limit. In other words, a control system is used to vary pitch rapidly in response to rotor speed, and significant efforts have been made to improve this ongoing pitch control system.
Abstract: 
Wind energy is increasingly recognized as a viable option for complementing and even replacing other types of energy such as fossil fuels. In the early development of wind energy, the majority of wind turbines or wind turbine generators were constructed for operation at a constant speed, but more recently, the trend is toward using variable-speed wind turbines to better capture available wind power. In most cases, wind turbine pitch angles can be adjusted to control the operation of the...
Benefits: 
Increased accuracy of nominal pitch angle -Increased efficiency in capturing available wind power
applications: 
Internal Laboratory Ref #: 
NREL ROI 05-33
Lab Representatives
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