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Meet the team: an interview with Jan-Willem van Wingerden

Jan-Willem van Wingerden, TU Delft
Discover the people behind FLOATECH in our interview series!

Meet Jan-Willem van Wingerden from DELFT University of Technology (TU DELFT) with 5 questions and answers about his role within the project.

Could you briefly present your organization and its role within FLOATECH?

I am a professor within the Delft Center for Systems and Control (DCSC) at Delft University of Technology. In my group within DCSC we work on control algorithms and AI for wind energy applications. The current focus is on advanced (floating) wind turbine control and on dynamic wind farm control. Within the FLOATECH project we work on wave feedforward control (work of Amr Hegazy, WP3) and wake mixing (work of Daniel van den Berg, WP4).

Why have you decided to join the consortium?

The topic and the partners!! Before FLOATECH we did some interesting work on bottom-fixed turbine control and wind farm control. Moreover, we also explored the field of floating wind performing some preliminary studies in the field of wave feedforward (including wave tank experiments) and we intensively looked at dynamic induction control to mitigate wake losses within (floating) wind farms. When TUB approached us, we proposed these two technologies for the FLOATECH project. The QBlade code seemed and is extremely useful to develop and optimize these innovative techniques. Since I also intensively followed the ongoing research by most of the partners, in particular TUB, UniFi and ECN, I was really eager to join this consortium.

Since the start of the project, could you explain the work done by TU DELFT?

As mentioned, we work on wave feedforward and wake mixing technologies, and I hired two excellent Ph.D. candidates. After a steep learning curve, we are now producing exciting results. Daniel recently showed that the Pulse (wake mixing with collective pitch) has similar performance on a floating compared with a bottom-fixed wind turbine, but you have to be careful with the excitation frequency. While for the Helix (wake mixing with individual pitch control), we showed that you can gain even more energy from the wind compared to bottom-fixed turbines. Amr developed a novel pitch control strategy that has increased performance with respect to baseline floating wind turbine controllers by using the same amount of measurements. At the flip side, he showed that wave feedforward control is really limited by the control authority (you need large blade pitch fluctuations). Currently, we are exploring techniques to further improve the results and push it to the limits.

How do you see the TRL of the two control approaches ((1) wake mixing (2) active wave-based feed forward control) at the end of the project and what would you consider important next steps to see them being adopted by the industry?

For both techniques we are now working towards wind tunnel and wave tank experiments, which will bring both techniques to the next TRL level (level 5). To get wave feedforward adopted by the industry, we really have to push the controller to its limits (to show that there is something to gain). While for wake mixing, the next step would be to measure the wake of a floating wind turbine with and without dynamic induction control.

What do you expect to achieve in the next months?

We expect to do successful experiments in the upcoming months and to get a final and definite answer if wave feedforward has potential.

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