Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

A new algorithm improves the efficiency of small wind turbines

Date:
March 18, 2014
Source:
Basque Research
Summary:
In recent years, mini wind energy has been developing in a spectacular way. However, level of efficiency of small wind turbines is low. To address this problem, scientists have developed an adaptative algorithm. The improvements that are applied to the control of these turbines will in fact contribute towards making them more efficient.

The wind turbine prototype that will be used to test the new algorithm.
Credit: Image courtesy of Basque Research

In recent years, mini wind energy has been developing in a spectacular way. However, level of efficiency of small wind turbines is low. To address this problem, the UPV/EHU's research group APERT (Applied Electronics Research Team) has developed an adaptative algorithm. The improvements that are applied to the control of these turbines will in fact contribute towards making them more efficient.

Small wind turbines tend to be located in areas where wind conditions are more unfavourable. "The control systems of current wind turbines are not adaptative; in other words, the algorithms lack the capacity to adapt to new situations," explained Iñigo Kortabarria, one of the researchers in the UPV/EHU'sAPERT research group. That is why "the aim of the research was to develop a new algorithm capable of adapting to new conditions or to the changes that may take place in the wind turbine," added Kortabarria. That way, the researchers have managed to increase the efficiency of wind turbines.

The speed of the wind and that of the wind turbine must be directly related if the latter is to be efficient. The same thing happens with a dancing partner. The more synchronised the rhythms of the dancers are, the more comfortable and efficient the dance is, and this can be noticed because the energy expenditure for the two partners is at a minimum level. To put it another way, the algorithm specifies the way in which the wind turbine adapts to changes. This is what the UPV/EHU researchers have focussed on: the algorithm, the set of orders that the wind turbine will receive to adapt to wind speed.

"The new algorithm adapts to the environmental conditions and, what is more, it is more stable and does not move aimlessly. The risk that algorithms run is that of not adapting to the changes and, in the worst case scenario, that of making the wind turbine operate in very unfavourable conditions, thereby reducing its efficiency.

Efficiency is the aim

Efficiency is one of the main concerns in the mini wind turbine industry. One has to bear in mind that small wind turbines tend to be located in areas where wind conditions are more unfavourable. Large wind turbines are located in mountainous areas or on the coast; however, small ones are installed in places where the wind conditions are highly variable. What is more, the mini wind turbine industry has few resources to devote to research and very often is unaware of the aerodynamic features of these wind turbines. All these aspects make it difficult to monitor the point of maximum power (MPPT Maximum Power Tracking) optimally."There has to be a direct relation between wind speed and wind turbine speed so that the monitoring of the maximum point of power is appropriate. It is important for this to be done optimally. Otherwise, energy is not produced efficiently," explained Iñigo Kortabarria.

Most of the current algorithms have not been tested under the conditions of the wind that blows in the places where small wind turbines are located. That is why the UPV/EHU researchers have designed a test bench and have tested the algorithms that are currently being used -- including the new algorithm developed in this piece of research -- in the most representative conditions that could exist in the life of a wind turbine with this power. "Current algorithms cannot adapt to changes, and therefore wind turbine efficiency is severely reduced, for example, when wind density changes," asserted Kortabarria.

"The experimental trials conducted clearly show that the capacity to adapt of the new algorithm improves energy efficiency when the wind conditions are variable," explained Kortabarria." We have seen that under variable conditions, in other words, in the actual conditions of a wind turbine, the new algorithm will be more efficient than the existing ones."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Basque Research. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Iñigo Kortabarria, Jon Andreu, Iñigo Martínez de Alegría, Jaime Jiménez, José Ignacio Gárate, Eider Robles. A novel adaptative maximum power point tracking algorithm for small wind turbines. Renewable Energy, 2014; 63: 785 DOI: 10.1016/j.renene.2013.10.036

Cite This Page:

Basque Research. "A new algorithm improves the efficiency of small wind turbines." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 March 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140318093403.htm>.
Basque Research. (2014, March 18). A new algorithm improves the efficiency of small wind turbines. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140318093403.htm
Basque Research. "A new algorithm improves the efficiency of small wind turbines." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140318093403.htm (accessed July 26, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Europe's Highest Train Turns 80 in French Pyrenees

Europe's Highest Train Turns 80 in French Pyrenees

AFP (July 25, 2014) — Europe's highest train, the little train of Artouste in the French Pyrenees, celebrates its 80th birthday. Duration: 01:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans

TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans

AP (July 24, 2014) — TSA administrator, John Pistole's took part in the Aspen Security Forum 2014, where he answered questions on lifting of the ban on flights into Israel's Tel Aviv airport and whether politics played a role in lifting the ban. (July 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers

Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers

AP (July 24, 2014) — Mobile phone companies and communities across the country are going to new lengths to disguise those unsightly cellphone towers. From a church bell tower to a flagpole, even a pencil, some towers are trying to make a point. (July 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Algonquin Power Goes Activist on Its Target Gas Natural

Algonquin Power Goes Activist on Its Target Gas Natural

TheStreet (July 23, 2014) — When The Deal's Amanda Levin exclusively reported that Gas Natural had been talking to potential suitors, the Ohio company responded with a flat denial, claiming its board had not talked to anyone about a possible sale. Lo and behold, Canadian utility Algonquin Power and Utilities not only had approached the company, but it did it three times. Its last offer was for $13 per share as Gas Natural's was trading at a 60-day moving average of about $12.50 per share. Now Algonquin, which has a 4.9% stake in Gas Natural, has taken its case to shareholders, calling on them to back its proposals or, possibly, a change in the target's board. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins