Wind energy research projects

For New Frontiers in Wind Energy ---

CESC's research and experimental capabilities

Students Lab (Olin 603); Wind Tunnel Lab (Olin 604); Prototype Lab (Olin 606)

With the over 25 years of experience of Prof. Garcia-Sanz in the design, patents, development and field experimentation of commercial multi-megawatt wind turbines with the principal European wind turbine manufacturers, the CESC offers the following experimental capabilities and reseach Areas:

1.- Fully instrumented wind tunnel to test our wind turbine prototypes and wind farms at wind speeds up to 20 m/s.

2.- Lab-scale wind turbine blade manufacturing units.

3.- State-of-the-art computer programs for commercial wind turbine design.

4.- Aerodynamics, Solid modeling and Electrical design CAD/CAE software.

5.- Advanced software to design robust QFT control systems.

6.- Software for analysis and simulation of dynamic systems.

7.- Lab-scale wind turbines with a variety of collinear and orthogonal rotors.

8.- Electrical generators, gearboxes, sensors, actuators and hierarchical real-time torque/pitch/yaw control systems.

9.- Lab-scale wind farms with flexible configurations.

Area 1: Design and experimentation of new wind turbine concepts

Abstract: It is difficult and expensive to develop and test new full-scale wind turbines. However, we are able to develop lab-scale wind turbines that match the dynamic characteristics of full-scale turbines. The projects of this Area are related to the (1) design of innovative wind energy concepts, (b) manufacturing of lab-scale wind turbines based on these new original paradigms, and (c) conducting real experiments of the prototypes in our wind tunnel with full controlled wind speed conditions. As the wind tunnel experiments with the lab-scale prototype show many similar aerodynamic characteristics to the full-scale system when scaling up the results with the Reynolds number, the research allow us develop new wind energy concepts, blade designs, rotor configurations, wind farm solutions and control systems to propose new wind turbine and wind farm paradigms.

Area 2: Advanced high-performance wind turbine control

Abstract: Wind turbines are complex systems, with large flexible structures working under very turbulent and unpredictable environmental conditions, and subject to a variable and demanding electrical grid. The efficiency and reliability of a wind turbine strongly depend on the applied control strategy. The projects of this Area develop advanced nonlinear robust control solutions for wind turbines and wind farms. The large nonlinear characteristics and high model uncertainty due to the aerodynamics, mechanical and electrical subsystems require new control strategies to maximize the energy efficiency of the turbines (MPPT strategies), reduce the mechanical fatigue, improve the reliability and availability of the machines, and regulate the electrical variables and optimize the power quality at the grid connection.

Area 3: Cooperative wind farm control

Abstract: The aerodynamic interaction among the wind turbines of a wind farm can reduce significantly the total energy production of the wind farm and increase the mechanical fatigue of the turbines compared to the case of isolated wind turbines operating under the same wind inflow conditions. The projects of this Area (1) analyze experimentally the aerodynamic interaction among the wind turbines of the wind farm and (2) develop and conduct experiments with new rotor designs, wind turbine concepts, wind farm configurations and cooperative control systems to (a) optimize the total energy production of the wind farm, (b) reduce the mechanical fatigue of the turbines, and (c) provide cooperative and distributed control solutions for reactive/active power control, voltage control and frequency control.

Area 4: Offshore floating wind turbines: Advanced control systems for reliability and efficiency improvement and cost reduction

Abstract: With a multi-disciplinary approach the projects of this Area integrate the design of new floating wind turbines concepts, including the aerodynamics, hydrodynamics, mechanical and electrical systems and the multivariable control strategies in a concurrent engineering methodology to achieve significant cost of energy (COE) reduction, mechanical loads mitigation and reliability improvement.

Area 5: Wind energy grid integration: impact of distributed generation in micro-grids, transmission and distribution systems

Abstract: Poor power quality, intermittent supply and off-peak production limit wide scale adoption of wind energy. Smart integration of wind turbines with direct drive synchronous generators (DD), doubly fed induction generators (DFIG) and electrical energy storage (ES) can fundamentally alter the performance and economics of utility scale wind power. Stabilizing the grid, dispatching like base-load generation, time shifting to meet peak demand and more effectively utilizing existing power transmission and distribution capacity will enable explosive growth in wind power generation. This will accelerate America's transition to the post carbon economy with creation of large numbers of green energy jobs. The projects we are developing in this Area integrate the following elements: (1) DD and DFIG wind turbines with power converters, which can naturally control active/reactive power, frequency and voltage of the grid; (2) Energy Storage Technologies, with different time responses for power quality and dispatchability; and (3) Advanced Control Systems, optimized for grid performance and new economic models.

Area 6: Airborne wind energy systems: The EAGLE System

Abstract: We are developing a new approach to airborne wind energy: the EAGLE system. Designed and patented at CESC, the EAGLE system can handle a 2.5 kW, 25 kW or 100 kW aloft generator at varying altitudes. It combines a hybrid tethered lighter-than-air and aerodynamic lift based flyer with a counter-rotating wind power generator payload. A nonlinear-robust MIMO control system provides the flying wind turbine longitudinal and lateral control capabilities.

Area 7: Large wind turbines under extreme weather conditions

Abstract: Extreme weather conditions like hurricanes, very cold temperatures, ice or sand limit the possibilities of wind energy. The projects of this Area propose develop new wind turbine solutions and advanced nonlinear and robust multi-input multi-output control strategies for mechanical fatigue mitigation, reliability improvement and power quality optimization in multi-megawatt onshore and offshore wind turbines under extreme weather conditions.

Selection of publications

[1]. M. Garcia-Sanz and C.H. Houpis, “Wind Energy Systems: Control Engineering Design”, 625 pp., CRC Press, Taylor & Francis, Boca Raton, Florida USA, ISBN: 978-1-4398-2179-4. 2012. (Book).

[2]. M. Garcia-Sanz, “The QFT Control Toolbox (QFTCT) for Matlab”. CWRU, UPNA and ESA-ESTEC. (Matlab Toolbox).

[3]. M. Garcia-Sanz, “Guest Editor”: “Wind Turbines: New Challenges and Advanced Control Solutions”, International Journal of Robust and Non-Linear Control. John Wiley. CFP: Volume 19, Issue 1, pp. 1-116, January 2009. (Special Issue).

[4]. E. Torres, M. Garcia-Sanz, “Experimental Results of the Variable Speed, Direct Drive Multipole Synchronous Wind Turbine: TWT1650”. Wind Energy, Wiley, Vol. 7, Num 2, pp. 109-118. April/June 2004. (Journal paper).

[5]. M. Garcia-Sanz, J. Elso. “Beyond the linear limitations by combining Switching & QFT. Application to Wind Turbines Pitch Control Systems”. Int. Journal of Robust and Non-Linear Control, John Wiley, Volume 19, Issue 1, pp. 40-58, January 2009. (Journal paper).

[6]. E.F. Camacho, T. Samad, M. Garcia-Sanz, I. Hiskens, “Control for renewable energy and smart grids”. From: The Impact of Control Technology, T. Samad, A.M. Annaswamy (eds.). Available at IEEE - Control Systems Society, 2011. (Journal paper).

[7]. M. Garcia-Sanz, H. Labrie, J.Cavalcanti, “Wind Farm Lab Test-Bench for Research/Education on Optimum Design and Cooperative Control of Wind Turbines”. Chapter 14 in book: Wind Turbine Control and Monitoring, Eds. Luo, Vidal and Acho. Series of Green Energy and Technology, ISBN: 978-3-319-08412-1, Springer Verlag, 2014. (Book chapter).

[8]. A. Diez de Ulzurrun, F. Wang, M. Garcia-Sanz, “Hybrid Darrieus/H-type orthogonal wind turbine: design and experimentation”. ShowCase Research Conference, CWRU, Cleveland, Ohio, 2016. (Conference).

[9]. Y. Du, F. Wang, M. Garcia-Sanz, “Orthogonal Savonius-type Wind Turbines: design and experiments”. ShowCase Research Conference, CWRU, Cleveland, Ohio, 2016. (Conference).

[10]. B. Weng, F. Wang, M. Garcia-Sanz, “A Floating Wind Turbine prototype: design and experimentation”. ShowCase Research Conference, CWRU, Cleveland, Ohio, 2016. (Conference).

[11]. F. Wang, M. Garcia-Sanz, “Aerodynamic interaction among wind turbines in wind farms: research and experimentation”. ShowCase Research Conference, CWRU, Cleveland, Ohio, 2016. (Conference).

[12]. F. Wang, L. Wheeler, M. Garcia-Sanz, “Wind turbine power optimization: experimental validation of extremum seeking and perturb/observe strategies”. Proc. of the ASME Dynamic Systems and Control Conference, DSCC-2016, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 2016. (Conference).



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