Articles | Volume 4, issue 2
Wind Energ. Sci., 4, 355–368, 2019
Wind Energ. Sci., 4, 355–368, 2019

Research article 20 Jun 2019

Research article | 20 Jun 2019

Wind direction estimation using SCADA data with consensus-based optimization

Jennifer Annoni1, Christopher Bay1,2,3, Kathryn Johnson1,2, Emiliano Dall'Anese3, Eliot Quon1, Travis Kemper1, and Paul Fleming1 Jennifer Annoni et al.
  • 1National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, CO, 80401 USA
  • 2Department of Electrical Engineering, Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO 80401, USA
  • 3Department of Electrical, Computer, and Energy Engineering, University of Colorado – Boulder, Boulder, CO 80309, USA

Abstract. Wind turbines in a wind farm typically operate individually to maximize their own performance and do not take into account information from nearby turbines. To enable cooperation to achieve farm-level objectives, turbines will need to use information from nearby turbines to optimize performance, ensure resiliency when other sensors fail, and adapt to changing local conditions. A key element of achieving a more efficient wind farm is to develop algorithms that ensure reliable, robust, real-time, and efficient operation of wind turbines in a wind farm using local sensor information that is already being collected, such as supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) data, local meteorological stations, and nearby radars/sodars/lidars. This article presents a framework for developing a cooperative wind farm that incorporates information from nearby turbines in real time to better align turbines in a wind farm. SCADA data from multiple turbines can be used to make better estimates of the local inflow conditions at each individual turbine. By incorporating measurements from multiple nearby turbines, a more reliable estimate of the wind direction can be obtained at an individual turbine. The consensus-based approach presented in this paper uses information from nearby turbines to estimate wind direction in an iterative way rather than aggregating all the data in a wind farm at once. Results indicate that this estimate of the wind direction can be used to improve the turbine's knowledge of the wind direction. This estimated wind direction signal has implications for potentially decreasing dynamic yaw misalignment, decreasing the amount of time a turbine spends yawing due to a more reliable input to the yaw controller, increasing resiliency to faulty wind-vane measurements, and increasing the potential for wind farm control strategies such as wake steering.

Short summary
Typically, turbines do not share information with nearby turbines in a wind farm. Relying on a single turbine sensor on the back of a turbine nacelle can lead to large errors in yaw misalignment or excessive yawing due to noisy sensor measurements. The wind farm consensus control approach in this paper shows the benefits of sharing information between nearby turbines by computing a robust estimate of the wind direction using noisy sensor information from these neighboring turbines.