A Switching Thrust Tracking Controller for Load Constrained Wind Turbines

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Wind turbines are prone to structural degradation, particularly in offshore locations. Based on the structural health condition of the tower, power de-rating strategies can be used to reduce structural loads at the cost of power losses. This paper introduces a novel closed-loop switching control architecture to constrain the thrust in individual turbines. By taking inspiration from developments in the field of reference governors, an existing demanded power tracking controller is extended by a thrust tracking controller. The latter is activated only when a user-defined constraint on fore-aft thrust force is exceeded, which can be set based on the actual damage status of the turbine. Having a down-regulation with monotonic aerodynamic load response, a simple linear thrust tracking controller is proposed. Such a scheme can reduce aerodynamic loads while incurring acceptable losses on power production which, in a wind farm setting, can be compensated for by other turbines. Large eddy simulations demonstrate the performance of the proposed scheme on satisfying thrust constraints.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the American Control Conference (ACC 2022)
ISBN (Print)978-1-6654-5196-3
Publication statusPublished - 2022
Event2022 American Control Conference, ACC 2022 - Atlanta, United States
Duration: 8 Jun 202210 Jun 2022


Conference2022 American Control Conference, ACC 2022
Country/TerritoryUnited States

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository 'You share, we take care!' - Taverne project https://www.openaccess.nl/en/you-share-we-take-care
Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.


  • Costs
  • Wind speed
  • Switches
  • Production
  • Wind farms
  • Predictive models
  • Aerodynamics


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