The history of lidar-assisted control

The history of lidar-assisted control

Research and testing of lidar-assisted control started at University of Stuttgart in 2008 and since then experience on advanced control technologies involving processed lidar measurements has been built up. David Schlipf, head of the Lidar Technology at sowento, has played an important role in the evolution and development of lidar in wind energy applications. Through his research and leading activities in the IEA Wind Task 32, he made his research results public to a broad community and build up a worldwide network. His pioneering work in the field of lidar-assisted control has shaped sowento and is a key business of the company.

Using Lidars for Wind Energy Control

Current advances in lidar technology provide opportunities to take a fresh look at wind turbine control. The wind is not only the main energy source but also the major disturbance to the control system. Thus, knowledge of the incoming wind is valuable information for optimizing energy production and reducing structural loads. Due to the measurement principles and the complexity of the wind, the disturbance cannot be measured perfectly. This forms a challenging task for estimation and control.

The early beginning of lidar-assisted control

We started our investigations in this area in 2008 within national and European research projects to reduce the structural loads and also to increase the energy yield of wind turbines, both of which make wind energy more competitive. The key challenges have not only been to develop appropriate feedforward control methods applicable to an industrial feedback controller, but also to investigate turbulence characteristics and to derive lidar measurements techniques to provide a usable preview signal. The combination of these findings made the world’s first proof-of-concept of lidar-assisted control possible:

  • Field Testing 2012 together with NREL on the CART3 at NWTC using a commercial lidar system (pulsed, 3 Beams).
  • Field Testing 2012 together with NREL on the CART2 at NWTC using the scanning lidar system developed at SWE.

Advanced field-testing of lidar-assisted control

Since then we refined our experience in several other campaigns:

  • Field Testing 2013 on a commercial wind turbine together with KENERSYS using the scanning lidar system developed at SWE.
  • Field Testing 2013 on the CART3 together with DNV GL, NREL and ZephIR using a continuous-wave lidar system.
  • Field Testing 2015 on the CART2 together with NREL and Avent using a commercial lidar system (pulsed, 5 beams).
  • Field Testing 2018-2019 with Goldwind

If you are interested in our lidar-assisted control expertise, please contact us.


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