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Research Papers: Ocean Renewable Energy

Power Optimization of Model-Scale Floating Wind Turbines Using Real-Time Hybrid Testing With Autonomous Actuation and Control1

[+] Author and Article Information
Samuel Kanner

Principle Power, Inc.,
Emeryville, CA 94608
e-mail: skanner@principlepowerinc.com

Elena Koukina

NK Labs, LLC,
Cambridge, MA 02139
e-mail: elena.koukina@gmail.com

Ronald W. Yeung

The Berkeley Marine Mechanics
Laboratory (BMML);
Department of Mechanical Engineering,
University of California at Berkeley,
Berkeley, CA 94720
e-mail: rwyeung@berkeley.edu

Contributed by the Ocean, Offshore, and Arctic Engineering Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF OFFSHORE MECHANICS AND ARCTIC ENGINEERING. Manuscript received December 15, 2017; final manuscript received August 1, 2018; published online January 17, 2019. Assoc. Editor: Carlos Guedes Soares.

J. Offshore Mech. Arct. Eng 141(3), 031902 (Jan 17, 2019) (10 pages) Paper No: OMAE-17-1216; doi: 10.1115/1.4041995 History: Received December 15, 2017; Revised August 01, 2018

Real-time hybrid testing of floating wind turbines is conducted at model scale. The semisubmersible, triangular platform, similar to the WindFloat platform, is built instead to support two, counter-rotating vertical-axis wind turbines (VAWTs). On account of incongruous scaling issues between the aerodynamic and the hydrodynamic loading, the wind turbines are not constructed at the same scale as the floater support. Instead, remote-controlled plane motors and propellers are used as actuators to mimic only the tangential forces on the wind-turbine blades, which are attached to the physical (floater-support) model. The application of tangential forces on the VAWTs is used to mimic the power production stage of the turbine. A control algorithm is implemented using the wind-turbine generators to optimize the platform heading and hence, the theoretical power absorbed by the wind turbines. This experimental approach only seeks to recreate the aerodynamic force, which contributes to the power production. In doing so, the generator control algorithm can thus be validated. The advantages and drawbacks of this hybrid simulation technique are discussed, including the need for low inertia actuators, which can quickly respond to control signals.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Computer-aided design (CAD) drawing of a prototype of the platform in the ocean, with connecting mechanism shown in inset

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Fig. 2

Computer-aided drawing of platform, in plan view with the incident wind, turbine rotation speed, and platform orientation. Here, the number of blades Nb is 3, though the turbine considered in this study only has two blades. A representative single point mooring system is shown with thin lines connecting to a universal joint and then emanating to three anchor points.

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Fig. 3

Elevation view of a multicolumn platform with definitions of platform and turbine geometry. The mooring system consisting of a universal joint with multiple mooring points is shown below the platform and the still waterline (SWL) is depicted with a dashed line.

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Fig. 4

Main components of experimental platform, at 1:82.3 scale, labeled by number, in the UC Berkeley Physical-Model Testing Facility

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Fig. 5

Plan view of counter-rotating, two-bladed vertical-axis wind turbines with nondimensional spacing D¯, static offset azimuthal angle θ¯1, and incident wind direction β1

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Fig. 6

Normalized power coefficient Cp* of two-dimensional simulations of counter-rotating turbines as a function of wind direction and turbine spacing D¯

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Fig. 7

Schematic of hybrid simulation testing technique, with experimental model in the physical world and aerodynamic simulations performed in “computational world”

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Fig. 8

Schematic showing Xbee wireless modules used to communicate between microprocessors used in study. Each white rectangle symbolizes a single microprocessor.

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Fig. 9

Instantaneous tangential force the actuators should apply depending on the desired resolution for one revolution (tip-speed ratio λ = 3.5)

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Fig. 10

Diagram showing the idealized circuit of the jth generator and the actual circuit implemented to control platform orientation by varying Rj

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Fig. 11

Yaw error and power generated during successful control of yaw heading of the platform in regular waves

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Fig. 12

Comparison of applied thrust force FT from the WIG against the desired thrust force FT* at medium resolution with λ = 3.5 as a function of time

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