Control of Wind Turbines: Past, Present, and Future

We review the objectives and techniques used in the control of horizontal axis wind turbines at the individual turbine level, where controls are applied to the turbine blade pitch and generator. The turbine system is modeled as a flexible structure operating in the presence of turbulent wind disturbances. Some overview of the various stages of turbine operation and control strategies used to maximize energy capture in below rated wind speeds is given, but emphasis is on control to alleviate loads when the turbine is operating at maximum power. After reviewing basic turbine control objectives, we provide an overview of the common basic linear control approaches and then describe more advanced control architectures and why they may provide significant advantages.

Laks, J. H.; Pao, L. Y.; Wright, A. D.
National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Controls & Reliability
Technology Testing & Certification
Distributed Wind
Technical Report