Resilient Autonomous Wind Farms: Preprint

Aaron Barker, Benjamin Anderson, Jennifer King

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


With the advent of an increasing number of control strategies that seek to optimize wind turbine performance on a farm-level, taking account of individual wind turbine information to achieve wind farm-level objectives has become an increasingly important goal. Methods for controlling wind turbines on an individual and farm level have seen significant development, and an abundance of new implementations for gathering and using data from turbines have created potential for novel control mechanisms which can further optimize the performance and delivery characteristics of a wind farm. A key element of making these wind farms more efficient is to develop reliable algorithms that use local sensor information that is already being collected, such as supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) data, local meteorological stations, and nearby radars/sodars/lidars. Making use of information from all wind turbines in a wind farm can enable such approaches as determining the atmospheric conditions across the farm, improving fault-finding, and enabling more efficient overall control of farm-wide optimizations through mechanisms such as wake-steering. However, these approaches typically involve a centralized communications and control center. In order to ensure the resilient operation of the farm, it is necessary to develop an approach which distributes the calculation and communication amongst multiple nodes throughout the farm. In this fashion, a redundant, robust, and secure network can be created, which can tolerate faults in calculation, communication, and even external attacks which seek to disrupt the operation of the wind farm. This paper introduces the use of the Raft Byzantine Fault Tolerance algorithm in the implementation of autonomous control of a wind farm. This implementation will allow for fault tolerance for malfunctioning nodes, sensors, transmitters, and connectors. This approach is equally extensible to account for malicious actors. It will be shown to achieve overall consensus, provided the number of faults/malicious nodes is less than 3$n$+1, where $n$ is the number of turbine cluster faults which may occur, and to be robust in the face of multiple arbitrary faults.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages10
StatePublished - 2020
Event2020 American Control Conference (ACC) -
Duration: 1 Jul 20203 Jul 2020


Conference2020 American Control Conference (ACC)

Bibliographical note

See NREL/CP-5000-77742 for paper as published in proceedings

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5000-75998


  • autonomous
  • controls
  • resilient wind farms


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