Investigation on the impact of design wind speed and control strategy on the performance of fixed-pitch variable-speed wind turbines.
In: International Conference on Renewable Energies and Power Quality (ICREPQ'11), 13-15 April 2011, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (Spain).
Wind turbine blade design optimization remains one of the fundamental research areas for modern wind turbine technology. The general design process for fixed-pitch variablespeed wind turbine blades assumes the rated wind speed as the design wind speed. However, for a fixed-pitch wind turbine with fixed rotor diameter and rated power at rated speed, we do not know the optimum design wind speed, which should be used for the calculation of the wind turbine blade parameters based on a particular aerofoil for a specific site with low annual mean wind speed. This paper investigates the impact of design wind speed and control strategy on the performance of fixed-pitch wind turbines through a set of design case studies. The design wind speeds are considered at the more prevalent wind speeds than the rated wind speed. Three different control strategies are addressed, i.e. maximum power point tracking, mixture of variable-speed and fixed-speed, and over-speeding. Annual energy production, blade manufacturing cost, aerodynamic load performance and cost of energy are analyzed and compared using the design case studies. The results reveal a clear picture in determining the optimum design wind speed and control strategy for both maximizing annual energy production and minimizing cost of energy.