Systematic Controller Design Methodolgy for Variable-Speed Wind Turbines

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


Variable-speed, horizontal axis wind turbines use blade-pitch control to meet specified objectives for three operational regions. This paper provides a guide for controller design for the constant power production regime. A simple, rigid, non-linear turbine model was used to systematically perform trade-off studies between two performance metrics. Minimization of both the deviation of the rotorspeed from the desired speed and the motion of the actuator is desired. The robust nature of the proportional-integral-derivative controller is illustrated, and optimal operating conditions are determined. Because numerous simulation runs may be completed in a short time, the relationship between the two opposing metrics is easily visualized.; Traditional controller design generally consists oflinearizing a model about an operating point. This step was taken for two different operating points, and the systematic design approach was used. The surfaces generated by the systematic design approach using the two linear models are similar to those generated using the non-linear model. The gain values selected using either linear model-based design are similar to those selected using thenon-linear model-based design. The linearization point selection does, however, affect the turbine performance. Including complex dynamics in the simulation may exacerbate the small differences evident in this study. Thus, knowing the design variation due to linearization point selection is important.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages28
StatePublished - 2002

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-500-29415


  • control
  • PID control
  • variable pitch
  • variable speed
  • wind turbine


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