Wind farm control for wake-loss compensation, thrust balancing and load-limiting of turbines

Jean Gonzalez Silva*, Riccardo Ferrari, Jan Willem van Wingerden

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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As renewable energy sources such as wind farms become dominant, new challenges emerge for operating and controlling them. Traditionally, wind farm control aims to dispatch power set-points to individual turbines to maximize energy extraction and, thus, their usage as assets. Yet, grid balance and frequency support are fundamental in presence of high renewable penetration and volatility of energy prices and demand. This requires a paradigm change, moving from power maximization to revenue maximization. In this paper, three active power control strategies pushing this shift of paradigm are investigated, namely: wake-loss compensation, thrust balancing, and load-limiting control. The findings of large eddy simulations of a reference wind farm show that wake-loss compensation indeed improves the power generation on waked wind farms, but at the price of increased structural loads on certain turbines. The addition of a thrust balancing can equalize the stresses of individual turbines and their wear in the long term, while still attaining the required power output at the farm level. Furthermore, load-limiting controllers could potentially aid by allowing maintenance to be scheduled in a single time window, thus reducing operation and maintenance costs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)421-433
JournalRenewable Energy
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Active power control
  • Integral control
  • Reliability
  • Thrust balance
  • Wake effects
  • Wind farm control


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