Journal article Open Access
Wind turbines are often sited together in wind farms as it is economically advantageous. Controlling the flow within wind farms to reduce the fatigue loads, maximize energy production and provide ancillary services is a challenging control problem due to the underlying time-varying non-linear wake dynamics. In this paper, we present a control-oriented dynamical wind farm model called the WindFarmSimulator (WFSim) that can be used in closed-loop wind farm control algorithms. The three-dimensional Navier–Stokes equations were the starting point for deriving the control-oriented dynamic wind farm model. Then, in order to reduce computational
complexity, terms involving the vertical dimension were either neglected or estimated in order to partially compensate for neglecting the vertical dimension. Sparsity of and structure in the system matrices make this model relatively computationally inexpensive. We showed that by taking the vertical dimension partially into account, the estimation of flow data generated with a high-fidelity wind farm model is improved relative to when the vertical dimension is completely neglected in WFSim. Moreover, we showed that, for the study cases considered in this work, WFSim is potentially fast enough to be used in an online closed-loop control framework including model parameter updates. Finally we showed that the proposed wind farm model is able to estimate flow and power signals generated by two different 3-D high-fidelity wind farm models.