Main objectives

Current state of the art wind power plant (WPP) controllers operate wind turbines (WTs) independently as individual machines, thus dispatching the WTs’ set points in an equal manner to all of them.

This approach is safe and reliable but far from optimal.

To achieve optimal WPP control, three aspects need to be addressed:

  • Maximizing the yield (power production) balanced against turbine loading and electricity price,
  • Enhancing WPP capability to provide ancillary services (primary, secondary, and tertiary reserves), and
  • Reducing operating costs (i.e. reduced fatigue load degradation of WTs and O&M requirement) over the lifetime of the WPP.

The goal of TotalControl is to move the WPP controller design philosophy from individual optimization of WT operation to a coordinated optimization of the overall WPP performance. The TotalControl project aims to achieve this by developing and validating advanced integrated WPP/WT control schemes conditioned on grid demands, in which all essential interactions between the WPP WTs are accounted for including production, load and O&M aspects.

Cost of energy (COE) is the most important single factor in deployment of renewables in the energy system. Reduction of COE is, among other things, directly related to operational control of WPP as a whole and the individual WTs within them. In the TotalControl project, the COE reduction will be pursued by developing and validating advanced integrated WPP/WT control schemes, in which all essential interactions between the WPP WTs are accounted for including both production and load aspects. Optimal WPP control is traditionally formulated as a one-parameter optimization problem focusing on the WPP production only. However, ultimately the optimal WPP performance should result from a multi-objective optimization problem, in which the optimal economic performance of a WPP is pursued over the WPP lifetime, conditioned on external grid demands. This is what TotalControl is about. The suggested integrated WPP/WT control approach seeks the optimal economical WPP revenue – i.e. the optimal economic balance between WPP power production and WPP operational costs. This is done by developing hierarchically coupled WPP and WT control schemes conditioned on a set of superior grid operator demands. In the WPP control design phase, information is only fed from the WPP controller to the individual WT controllers, whereas in on-line operational control, available WT and WPP flow field information will be assimilated into the WPP control for optimal system performance. Furthermore, the WPP controller will also make use of current market information (e.g. energy price, demand for ancillary services etc.) as well as information about the state of individual turbines (e.g. current operational state, maintenance requirements and component lifetime consumption) to allow COE objectives to be optimised dynamically. The final output of the project will be synthetized into an open-source TotalControl toolbox, which will be made available to the wind energy community.
28 JANUARY 2023