Insensitivity to Propagation Timing in a Preview-Enabled Wind Turbine Control Experiment

Michael Sinner, Vlaho Petrovic, David Stockhouse, Apostolos Langidis, Manuel Pusch, Martin Kuhn, Lucy Pao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Lidar scanners are capable of taking measurements of a wind field upstream of a wind turbine. The wind turbine controller can use these measurements as a “preview” of future disturbances impacting the turbine. Such preview-enabled (or feedforward) controllers show superior performance to standard wind turbine control configurations based purely on a feedback architecture. To capitalize on the performance improvements that preview wind measurements can provide, feedforward control actions should be timed to coincide with the arrival of the wind field at the wind turbine location. However, the time of propagation of the wind field between the lidar measurement location and the wind turbine is not perfectly known. Moreover, the best time to take feedforward control action may not perfectly coincide with the true arrival time of the wind disturbance. This contribution presents results from an experiment where preview-enabled model predictive control was deployed on a fully-actuated, scaled model wind turbine operating in a wind tunnel testbed. In the study, we investigate the sensitivity of the controller performance to the assumed propagation delay using a range of wind input sequences. We find that the preview-enabled controller outperforms the feedback only case across a wide range of assumed propagation delays, demonstrating a level of robustness to the time alignment of the incoming disturbances.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number1145305
Number of pages12
JournalFrontiers in Mechanical Engineering
StatePublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2023 Sinner, Petrović, Stockhouse, Langidis, Pusch, Kühn and Pao.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5000-86037


  • disturbance measurement
  • disturbance preview
  • feedforward control
  • model predictive control
  • scaled-model experiment
  • wind advection
  • wind tunnel


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