This thesis describes the development of a procedure that tunes a wind turbine drivetrain
damper (DTD) automatically. This procedure, when integrated into the controller
of any utility-scale variable-speed wind turbine, will allow the turbine to
autonomously and automatically tune its DTD on site. In practice this means that the
effectiveness of the damper becomes independent on the accuracy of the model or the
simulations used by the control engineers in order to tune the damper. This research is
motivated by the fact that drive-train failures are still one of the biggest problems that
stigmatises the wind turbine industry. The development of an automatically tuned
DTD that alleviates the drive-train fatigue loads and thus increases the reliability and
lifetime of the drive-train is thus considered very beneficial for the wind turbine
The procedure developed begins by running an experimental procedure to collect data
that is then used to automatically system identify a linear model describing the drivetrain.
Based on this model a single band-pass filter acting as a DTD is automatically
tuned. This procedure is run for a number of times, and the resulting DTDs are
compared in order to select the optimal one.
The thesis demonstrates the effectiveness of the developed procedure and presents
alternative procedures devised during research. Finally, insight into future work that
could be performed is indicated in the last chapter of the thesis.
A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.