No assignee for this patent application, patent application serial number 364538, has been made.
Reporters obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "From an economical point of view a wind turbine represents a major investment which is expected to return profit over the lifetime of the wind turbine. The lifetime of a wind turbine depends on the wear experienced by the wind turbine. For example, a wind turbine located in an area with only occasional strong winds will provide more power if its design is optimised for relatively low winds. However, such a wind turbine will experience much higher wear when operating at maximum power output during strong winds than a wind turbine located in an area where strong winds are typical and that is therefore designed for strong winds and accordingly will provide little power at low wind speeds. Accordingly the lifetime of the wind turbine may be shortened disproportionally when operating at high workloads. Another example may be gusty wind which may also cause disproportional stress not justified by an increased power output of the wind turbine."
In addition to obtaining background information on this patent application, VerticalNews editors also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "Thus, even though more wind power is harvested during strong winds and more electricity will be generated, the structural and thus economic damage caused by the high stress outbalance the benefit from the higher power output. Turbine Load Control (TLC) takes the wear caused by current operating conditions into account and aims at maximising the return-of-investment. Such TLC systems may throttle the power output if the rate of wear is too high.
"It is an object of the present invention to provide for an improved method of controlling load of a wind turbine which maximises the economic benefit of a wind turbine.
"Accordingly the present invention provides a method of controlling the load of a wind turbine, wherein a rate of wear experienced by the wind turbine as a result of the current operating conditions of the wind turbine is determined, a control vector for controlling the wind turbine is determined based on the determined rate of wear and wherein the load of the wind turbine is controlled in accordance with the determined control vector. According to the invention determining the control vector comprises weighting the determined rate of wear by a cost of electricity value and determining the control vector based on the weighted rate of wear.
"The invention has an advantage in that it considers the changing market price of the electricity produced by the wind turbine. Moreover, existing TLC systems can be modified easily to make use of the invention by weighting the rate of wear by the current cost of electricity and controlling the wind turbine in accordance with this modified input value. Thus, if at a certain point in time the cost of electricity is high, a higher rate of wear may be acceptable. Accordingly, all TLC systems that take tear and wear into consideration for setting the operating parameters of the wind turbine can make use of the advantages provided by the present invention.
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