Talk of Prof. Lucy Pao

June 24, 2024

--- Title: Sink or Swim: Control of Floating Offshore Wind Turbines

Time: June 24, 2024
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Prof. Lucy Pao
Electrical, Computer, and Energy Engineering Department
University of Colorado Boulder
Boulder, CO, USA


Monday 2024-06-24 4 p.m.
IST Seminar Room 2.255 - Pfaffenwaldring 9 - Campus Stuttgart-Vaihingen



Wind energy is among the fastest-growing sources of electrical energy worldwide. Compared to land-based wind energy, offshore wind energy has the advantages of increased wind resource availability and consistency, proximity to major population centers, and enabling larger-scale turbines. As such, over the last decade, installed offshore wind power capacity has grown at a phenomenal average rate of 33% per year. Currently, more than 99% of installed offshore wind capacity consists of fixed-bottom wind turbines in shallow waters (<60m deep).  Globally, however, the majority of offshore wind resources are over water depths greater than 60m. Floating wind turbines are better suited in such deep waters. Though, compared to fixed-bottom wind turbines, floating wind turbines are more dynamic and exhibit potential instabilities, which require advanced control methods to ensure a safe and efficient operation. Beyond their existing objectives of maximizing power production while minimizing structural loads, floating wind turbine controllers must also avoid large platform oscillations and accommodate ocean wave and current disturbances. In this talk, I will provide an overview of the challenges and opportunities in the control of floating offshore wind energy systems. I will also summarize some of our recent work in developing and analyzing multi-loop feedback control approaches aimed at improving power quality, regulating the generator speed, and/or mitigating structural loading.


Biographical Information

Lucy Pao is a Palmer Endowed Chair Professor in the Electrical, Computer, and Energy Engineering Department at the University of Colorado Boulder (CU Boulder), USA. She is currently on sabbatical and is a Visiting Scholar at the Eindhoven University of Technology  from January to August 2024. She earned B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University, USA. Her research has primarily focused on engineering control systems, with applications ranging from atomic force microscopes to multi-megawatt wind energy systems. She is a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and the International Federation of Automatic Control (IFAC), and she is a foreign corresponding member of the Austrian Academy of Sciences. She is a Fellow of the Renewable and Sustainable Energy Institute (RASEI), a joint institute between the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory and CU Boulder, and she is also an IFAC Pavel J. Nowacki Distinguished Lecturer.

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