30 Nov 2021
30 Nov 2021
Status: a revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal WES.

Prognostics-based adaptive control strategy for lifetime control of wind turbines

Edwin Kipchirchir1, Manh Hung Do2, Jackson Githu Njiri3, and Dirk Söffker1 Edwin Kipchirchir et al.
  • 1Chair of Dynamics and Control, University of Duisburg-Essen, Lotharstr. 1-21, 47057, Duisburg, Germany
  • 2School of Heat Engineering and Refrigeration, Hanoi University of Science and Technology
  • 3Department of Mechatronic Engineering, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, 62000-00200, Nairobi, Kenya

Abstract. Variability of wind profiles in both space and time is responsible for fatigue loading in wind turbine components. Advanced control methods for mitigating structural loading in these components have been proposed in previous works. These also incorporate other objectives like speed and power regulation for above-rated wind speed operation. In recent years, lifetime control and extension strategies have been proposed to guaranty power supply and operational reliability of wind turbines. These control strategies typically rely on a fatigue load evaluation criteria to determine the consumed lifetime of these components, subsequently varying the control set-point to guaranty a desired lifetime of the components. Most of these methods focus on controlling the lifetime of specific structural components of a wind turbine, typically the rotor blade or tower. Additionally, controllers are often designed to be valid about specific operating points, hence exhibit deteriorating performance in varying operating conditions. Therefore, they are not able to guaranty a desired lifetime in varying wind conditions. In this paper an adaptive lifetime control strategy is proposed for controlled ageing of rotor blades to guaranty a desired lifetime, while considering damage accumulation level in the tower. The method relies on an online structural health monitoring system to vary the lifetime controller gains based on a State of Health (SoH) measure by considering the desired lifetime at every time-step. For demonstration, a 1.5 MW National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) reference wind turbine is used. The proposed adaptive lifetime controller regulates structural loading in the rotor blades to guaranty a predefined damage level at the desired lifetime without sacrificing on the speed regulation performance of the wind turbine. Additionally, significant reduction in the tower fatigue damage is observed.

Edwin Kipchirchir et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on wes-2021-144', Anonymous Referee #1, 05 Jan 2022
  • RC2: 'Comment on wes-2021-144', Anonymous Referee #2, 06 Apr 2022
  • RC3: 'Comment on wes-2021-144', Anonymous Referee #3, 19 Apr 2022
  • AC1: 'Comment on wes-2021-144', Edwin Kipchirchir, 16 May 2022

Edwin Kipchirchir et al.

Edwin Kipchirchir et al.


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Short summary
In this work, an adaptive control strategy for controlling the lifetime of wind turbine components is proposed. Performance of the lifetime controller is adapted based on real-time health status of the rotor blades to guaranty a predefined lifetime. It shows promising results in lifetime control of blades without speed regulation and tower load mitigation trade-off. It can be applied in optimizing maintenance scheduling of wind farms, which increases reliability and reduces maintenance costs.