Maximizing Energy Capture of Wind Turbines

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Inflow wind characteristics are currently gathered from anemometers and wind vanes located on the nacelle behind the rotor disk. This position does not lead to an awareness of the inflow due to interference from the rotor blades and nacelle. Wind direction data gathered at this location is used to control yaw position, but this data does not capture real-time wind events. A more accurate measurement of the inflow would allow for more advanced control algorithms to increase energy capture. In particular, increased power production could be achieved using precision yaw control systems.

Researchers at Purdue University have developed a system for achieving greater power output using integrated blade and nacelle inertial sensors to characterize the response associated with swept wind loading on the rotor blades. This information can be used in real-time to observe an increase in dynamic excitation, which can be used to tune the yaw angle and reshape the rotor loads. This technology has shown that the wind turbine power output can be increased by up to 12 percent and the asymmetric rotor fatigue decreases. With better loading observations, enhanced maintenance scheduling can also be implemented for individual turbines, thereby decreasing downtime and maximizing the life of wind turbine components.

Advantages:
-Increases power output
-Decreases rotor fatigue
-Enhanced maintenance scheduling

Potential Applications:
-Green Technology
-Materials
-Manufacturing
Sep 13, 2013
NATL-Patent
United States
(None)
(None)

Mar 15, 2012
PCT-Patent
WO
(None)
(None)

Mar 15, 2011
Provisional-Patent
United States
(None)
(None)
Purdue Office of Technology Commercialization
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West Lafayette, IN 47906

Phone: (765) 588-3475
Fax: (765) 463-3486
Email: otcip@prf.org