Generator Speed Regulation in the Presence of Structural Modes Through Adaptive Control Using Residual Mode Filters

Susan A. Frost, Mark J. Balas, Alan D. Wright

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus Citations


Wind turbines operate in highly turbulent environments resulting in aerodynamic loads that can easily excite turbine structural modes, potentially causing component fatigue and failure. Two key technology drivers for turbine manufacturers are increasing turbine up time and reducing maintenance costs. Since the trend in wind turbine design is towards larger, more flexible turbines with lower frequency structural modes, manufacturers will want to develop control paradigms that properly account for the presence of these modes. Accurate models of the dynamic characteristics of new wind turbines are often not available due to the complexity and expense of the modeling task, making wind turbines ideally suited to adaptive control approaches. In this paper, we develop theory for adaptive control with rejection of disturbances in the presence of modes that inhibit the controller. A residual mode filter is introduced to accommodate these modes and restore important properties to the adaptively controlled plant. This theory is then applied to design an adaptive collective pitch controller for a high-fidelity simulation of a utility-scale, variable-speed wind turbine. The adaptive pitch controller is compared in simulations with a baseline classical proportional integrator (PI) collective pitch controller.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)660-667
Number of pages8
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 2011

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5000-52332


  • Adaptive control
  • Disturbance rejection
  • Flexible structure control
  • Pitch control
  • Residual mode filter
  • Wind turbine


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