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Monday, March 1
2010, 11 a.m.
TI Auditorium (ECSS 2.102)








 me lecture

“Adaptive Control of Large Utility-Scale Wind Turbines”
Dr. Mark Balas, The University of Wyoming

The next generation of utility-scale wind turbines will be larger and more flexible than earlier designs, promoting greater energy capture and reducing energy cost. It is here that the implementation of active feedback control is crucial to meet design objectives. As with many serious engineering applications, just looking at a large wind turbine does not reveal all the intricacies and problems. Not only must there be power regulation or optimization but also load mitigation to extend the life of the turbine. Wind turbine dynamic modeling for active control is composed of four principal parts:

1) Aerodynamics and inflow behavior
2) Structural dynamics
3) Feedback control algorithms
4) Power electronics

Detailed dynamic testing of large turbines is limited and expensive. The operating environment is usually isolated and often harsh. Active control is a relatively new technology for wind turbines; adaptive control is almost unheard of. This talk will mostly be a non-specialist’s tutorial on large wind turbine control but will also introduce some of our wind turbine control research over the past 12 years.

Mark Balas is the Guthrie Nicholson Professor and head of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at the University of Wyoming. He holds several technical degrees, including a PhD in mathematics and electrical engineering. He has held positions in industry, academia and government. He has been a university professor for over 30 years and has mentored 38 doctoral students. He has been a visiting professor at the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory at Kirtland Air Force Base, at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and at the space agency’s Ames Research Center. He is associate director of the new University of Wyoming Wind Energy Research Center, a fellow of the AIAA and a life fellow of the IEEE.