Two years ago, Professor David Schlipf of the Wind Energy Institute at the Flensburg University of Applied Sciences (Germany) taught wind turbines how to see their surroundings. The turbines are able to predict oncoming gusts of wind with the help of a LIDAR detection system. They are then able to respond accordingly to that data. “The turbines can then move the rotor blades out of the way of the wind in time,” says Schlipf. “This reduces the load on them, for one thing. The turbines will run more quietly that way.” Thanks to the LIDAR detection system, which works a bit like radar, turbines can effectively see oncoming gusts of wind. This makes the wind turbines more intelligent.
Schlipf had already worked on this predictive control unit during his doctorate. “For the first time ever worldwide, I was able to test it at a real plant in the USA. It was really pioneering work back then.” The system should become even more intelligent now, seeing that David Schlipf and his doctoral student Feng Guo are making the ‘eyes’ smarter, i.e. the LIDAR detection system.
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