Lidar-Enhanced Wind Turbine Control: Past, Present, and Future

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

58 Scopus Citations


The main challenges in harvesting energy from the wind arise from the unknown incoming turbulent wind field. Balancing the competing interests of reduction in structural loads and increasing energy production is the goal of a wind turbine controller to reduce the cost of producing wind energy. Conventional wind turbines use feedback methods to optimize these goals, reacting to wind disturbances after they have already impacted the wind turbine. Lidar sensors offer a means to provide additional inputs to a wind turbine controller, enabling new techniques to improve control methods, allowing a controller to actuate a wind turbine in anticipation of an incoming wind disturbance. This paper will look at the development of lidar-enhanced controls and how they have been used for various turbine load reductions with pitch actuation, as well as increased energy production with improved yaw control. Ongoing work will also be discussed to show that combining pitch and torque control using feedforward nonlinear model predictive control can lead to both reduced loads and increased energy production. Future work is also proposed on extending individual wind turbine controls to the wind plant level and determining how lidars can be used for control methods to further lower the cost of wind energy by minimizing wake impacts in a wind farm.

Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages8
StatePublished - 28 Jul 2016
Event2016 American Control Conference, ACC 2016 - Boston, United States
Duration: 6 Jul 20168 Jul 2016


Conference2016 American Control Conference, ACC 2016
Country/TerritoryUnited States

Bibliographical note

See NREL/CP-5000-65879 for preprint

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5000-67055


  • feedforward
  • levelized cost of energy
  • lidar control
  • wind energy
  • wind farm
  • wind plant
  • wind turbine


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