Observability of the ambient conditions in model-based estimation for wind farm control: A focus on static models

Bart Doekemeijer*, Jan Willem van Wingerden

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
23 Downloads (Pure)


Wind farm control (WFC) algorithms rely on an estimate of the ambient wind speed, wind direction, and turbulence intensity in the determination of the optimal control setpoints. However, the measurements available in a commercial wind farm do not always carry sufficient information to estimate these atmospheric quantities. In this paper, a novel measure (“observability”) is introduced that quantifies how well the ambient conditions can be estimated with the measurements at hand through a model inversion approach. The usefulness of this measure is shown through several case studies. While the turbine power signals and the inter-turbine wake interactions provide information on the wind direction, the case studies presented in this article show that there is a strong need for wind direction measurements for WFC to sufficiently cover observability for any ambient condition. Further, generally, more wake interaction leads to a higher observability. Also, the mathematical framework presented in this article supports the straightforward notion that turbine power measurements provide no additional information compared with local wind speed measurements, implying that power measurements are superfluous. Irregular farm layouts result in a higher observability due to the increase in unique wake interaction. The findings in this paper may be used in WFC to predict which ambient quantities can (theoretically) be estimated. The authors envision that this will assist in the estimation of the ambient conditions in WFC algorithms and can lead to an improvement in the performance of WFC algorithms over the complete envelope of wind farm operation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1777-1791
JournalWind Energy
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • ambient condition estimation
  • closed-loop wind farm control
  • estimability
  • observability

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