Demonstration of a Fault Impact Reduction Control Module for Wind Turbines

Benjamin Anderson, Edward Baring-Gould

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus Citations


Traditionally, wind turbines in distributed applications make control decisions as isolated systems. They generally provide maximum power output during operation and manage internal faults with little consideration of the rest of the power system. Although fault detection and tolerance schemes are widely researched and implemented, controls to ameliorate such faults are uncommon in research and industry. The rapid shutdown of a wind turbine in a large transmission-connected wind plant will have a minimal impact on a large power system, but in a microgrid or isolated grid context the abrupt loss of a single wind turbine may cause grid instability and high stress on the system. This paper demonstrates a fault impact reduction control (FIRC) module for a wind turbine, which implements wider warning thresholds around fault thresholds. When the turbine crosses a warning threshold, the controller sends its predicted action to the grid controller, which facilitates the grid operator's response to a potential wind turbine fault and then takes appropriate action to ameliorate the fault. Various test cases demonstrate the controller action under a variety of faults, and various scenarios demonstrate the grid benefit of an FIRC in both microgrid- and grid-connected contexts. The FIRC maximizes wind turbine generation and eases generation transition under a variety of fault scenarios. The FIRC module is easy to integrate with most existing controllers, just requiring derate capability, and can be easily modified to include the various warnings and thresholds that the user desires. This analysis is mainly performed in a MATLAB-Simulink-based research wind turbine model and is also implemented in the existing LabVIEW-based controller of the same research turbine at NREL.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1753-1769
Number of pages17
JournalWind Energy Science
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

See NREL/JA-5000-79368 for article as published in Wind Energy Science Discussions

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5000-84188


  • fault tolerant control
  • wind turbine controller
  • wind turbine fault
  • wind turbine reliability


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