Modern Control Design for Flexible Wind Turbines

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


Control can improve energy capture and reduce dynamic loads in wind turbines. In the 1970s and 1980s, wind turbines used classical control designs to regulate power and speed. The methods used, however, were not always successful. Modern turbines are larger, mounted on taller towers, and more dynamically active than their predecessors. Control systems to regulate turbine power and maintainstable, closed-loop behavior in the presence of turbulent wind inflow will be critical for these designs. This report applies modern state-space control design methods to a two-bladed teetering hub upwind machine at the National Wind Technology Center (NWTC), which is managed by the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colorado. The design objectiveis to regulate turbine speed and enhance damping in several low-damped flexible modes of the turbine. Starting with simple control algorithms based on linear models, complexity is added incrementally until the desired performance is firmly established.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages233
StatePublished - 2004

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-500-35816


  • control design methods
  • National Wind Technology Center
  • wind turbine control systems


Dive into the research topics of 'Modern Control Design for Flexible Wind Turbines'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this