Loughborough University
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Development of a self-tuned drive-train damper for utility-scale variable-speed wind turbines

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posted on 2012-06-18, 15:06 authored by Athanasios Mathiopoulos
This thesis describes the development of a procedure that tunes a wind turbine drivetrain damper (DTD) automatically. This procedure, when integrated into the controller of any utility-scale variable-speed wind turbine, will allow the turbine to autonomously and automatically tune its DTD on site. In practice this means that the effectiveness of the damper becomes independent on the accuracy of the model or the simulations used by the control engineers in order to tune the damper. This research is motivated by the fact that drive-train failures are still one of the biggest problems that stigmatises the wind turbine industry. The development of an automatically tuned DTD that alleviates the drive-train fatigue loads and thus increases the reliability and lifetime of the drive-train is thus considered very beneficial for the wind turbine industry. The procedure developed begins by running an experimental procedure to collect data that is then used to automatically system identify a linear model describing the drivetrain. Based on this model a single band-pass filter acting as a DTD is automatically tuned. This procedure is run for a number of times, and the resulting DTDs are compared in order to select the optimal one. The thesis demonstrates the effectiveness of the developed procedure and presents alternative procedures devised during research. Finally, insight into future work that could be performed is indicated in the last chapter of the thesis.



  • Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering


© Athanasios Mathiopoulos

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A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.

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  • en