April 20, 2009

Controller steadies offshore wind turbines

Control the angle of wind turbine blades individually and you can smooth power flow and reduce wear-and-tear on floating wind turbines.

Floating wind turbines can be placed farther offshore where winds are generally stronger, but wave-induced motion of the turbines' platforms causes power fluctuations and increases wear on the turbines.

A computer simulation showed that a controller that changes the angle, or pitch, of turbine blades separately rather than all at once would reduce power fluctuations by 44 percent compared to a regular controller. The controller would also reduce side-to-side forces on a turbine's tower by 39 percent.

Research paper:
Individual blade pitch control of floating offshore wind turbines
Wind Energy, published online April 20, 2009

Researcher's contact:
Karl Stol

Related stories and briefs:
Satellite shows where the wind blows -- related research

Back to ERN April 20, 2009



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