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Wind farm control

Wind farms are complex dynamic systems and operating them in a smart way requires expertise in various fields to maximise the overall profitability.

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Wind farm control (WFC) requires multidisciplinary knowledge including aerodynamics, materials and structural responses, electrical components, control engineering, system integration, and electricity markets. SINTEF combines expertise in these various fields to operate wind farms in a profitable way.

Power maximisation as primary operation mode is working well for single wind turbines and small onshore wind farms. However, this will not be acceptable at all times for larger offshore wind farms with multi GW installed capacity. They must comply with grid codes and provide ancillary services to a larger degree ensuring the safe and reliable operation of the power systems. These system integration-oriented functionalities relate to wind power plant control (WPPC). Wind farm flow control (WFFC), on the other hand, focuses on mitigating the power loss caused by the aerodynamic interactions, i.e. wakes, between wind turbines and reducing the accumulation of structural fatigue.

One of our key research areas is integrated wind farm control, integrating the need for WPPC with the benefits of WFFC (maximising power while satisfying grid constraints) and vice-versa (providing ancillary services while mitigating asset degradation). This extends among others to market-driven WFC, i.e. considering the electricity market prices in operational decisions, which will become relevant in future energy systems and market structures with a high share of renewable energy sources. Operation and maintenance (O&M) activities add yet another operational dimension to the multidisciplinary challenge of wind farm control.

SINTEF develops solutions to find the right trade-off and to meet the challenges of wind farm control and operation.

Our research areas and services include:

  • Dynamic modelling of wind turbines and wind farms combining aero-hydro servo elastic and electro-mechanical interactions
  • Analysis of system dynamics, control, and optimization of wind power plants
  • Modelling power fluctuations from wind farms
  • Integrated wind farm control interfacing farm flow and power plant controls
  • Modelling and estimation of accumulated fatigue including the effect of control actions
  • Development of model-based and predictive control approaches including market-driven wind farm control
  • Multi-objective co-optimization of wind farm control with operation and maintenance activities

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Previous research projects:

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