Glasgow-based control engineering company, SgurrControl, has now started off an offshore wind reliability project – supported by a £667k grant under the Department for Energy and Climate Change’s (DECC) Offshore Wind Components Technology Scheme.
SgurrControl, part of leading renewable energy consultancy, SgurrEnergy, is leading the wind turbine intelligent control project, to simulate, implement and demonstrate the capability of the individual blade control (ATLAS) technology to realise large reductions in blade loads on offshore wind turbines.
ATLAS (Advanced Turbine Load Alleviation System) is SgurrControl’s patented individual blade control (IBC) solution for load reduction and turbine performance enhancement. It works by adjusting each blade’s pitch angle individually in response to measured loads. ATLAS is proven to significantly reduce fatigue loads and extreme loads on the blades, drive train shaft and structure of large, utility-scale wind and tidal turbines.
Spanning two years, the project will provide a quantitative assessment of the benefits of using ATLAS and will inform the industry and manufacturers of the impact of loads, which can then be considered during wind turbine design.
ATLAS will be implemented on a Blaaster Wind Technologies 3MW DL101 wind turbine in Valsneset, Norway and the project will include two SgurrEnergy Galion Lidar devices to further analyse the response of the wind turbine to variations in wind shear, veer and gusts flowing into the turbine.
As part of the project, Romax Technology will provide drivetrain and simulation expertise to identify the most damaging events which will then be used to target controller optimisation. Romax’s analysis techniques and cost modeling will close the loop on wind turbine system response modelling.
Awarding the grants, Greg Barker, UK Energy and Climate Change Minister, said: “The UK is already the world leader in offshore wind – with more deployed than any other country. The benefits that offshore wind can bring are clear – from enhancing our energy security, reducing our dependence on imports and helping reduce our carbon emissions.
“Innovation is critical to cutting the cost of this low-carbon power source, which could in turn lead to lower bills for hardworking consumers.”
David Robb, Director of SgurrControl, said: “We are delighted to be leading this project at a time when offshore wind is growing and maturing. Our involvement is an excellent opportunity to highlight the benefits of blade control technology and the impact on wind turbine optimisation.
“The use of improved control strategies such as ATLAS is a cost effective method of enhancing design optimisation, extending the life of wind turbines, both onshore and offshore, and addressing specific functional issues that can occur in operation. This project will provide a real life example of the results that can be realised from wind turbine individual blade control.”