Design of Controls to Attenuate Loads in the Controls Advanced Research Turbine

Alan D. Wright, Mark J. Balas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus Citations


The wind industry seeks to design wind turbines to maximize energy production and increase fatigue life. To achieve this goal, we must design wind turbines to extract maximum energy and reduce component and system loads. This paper applies modern state-space control design methods to a two-bladed teetering-hub upwind machine located at the National Wind Technology Center. The design objective is to regulate turbine speed in region 3 (above rated wind speed) and enhance damping in several low-damped flexible modes of the turbine. The controls approach is based on the Disturbance Accommodating Control method and provides accountability for wind-speed disturbances. First, controls are designed with the single control input rotor collective pitch to stabilize the first drive-train torsion as well as the tower first fore-aft bending modes. Generator torque is then incorporated as an additional control input. This reduces some of the demand placed on the rotor collective pitch control system and enhances first drive train torsion mode damping. Individual blade pitch control is then used to attenuate wind disturbances having spatial variation over the rotor and effectively reduces blade flap deflections caused by wind shear.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1083-1091
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Solar Energy Engineering, Transactions of the ASME
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2004

Bibliographical note

For preprint version see NREL/CP-500-35084

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-500-37463


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