Photo showing wind turbine wakes

Wind Turbine Loads and Control (LAC)

The Section for Loads and Control focuses on modelling and analysis of loads and dynamics, aeroelastic stability, and control of wind turbines, and implements its research in cooperation with industry—in software tools and in courses.

The research in LAC deals with aeroelastic modelling including control, analysis, and optimization of wind turbine response, and loads under real-life operational conditions for different wind turbine concepts and wind farms—onshore and offshore: 

  • Aeroelastic modelling
  • Aeroelastic stability and dynamics
  • Aeroelastic control
  • Wind farm modelling and analysis

The aeroelastic modelling and analysis of both individual turbines and turbines in a wind farm is a core element of the design complex and it ties various modelling elements into a system level approach. Outcome of the aeroelastic modelling are time series of turbine response, i.e. loads, deflections, accelerations, etc. which successively is used for designing the individual components. Another outcome is a quantification of the aeroelastic stability limits, which can be used in a design assessment of a specific design, and also for design and evaluation of controllers. 

Prediction of turbine response is a central element in both design evaluation and design optimization, and the Loads and Control areas are important elements of the overall research and innovation strategy of DTU Wind Energy. In the load (response) prediction tools, the various elements of other research areas in the department are linked together in a design complex: Wind and turbulence modelling, aerodynamic modelling, wind farm flow modelling, structural modelling, controller modelling, and electrical modelling—and thus these load prediction tools are key to innovation. Using the tools, other research areas integrated in the design complex. 

In themselves, the load prediction tools have developed significantly over the years, and the continuous development and adaption to the needs of these tools are crucial to support the industrial technological innovation. One example is the continuous improvement of the structural modelling of blades. Over the years, turbine blades have developed from relatively stiff to highly flexible, utilizing the potential of aeroelastic tailoring (flap-twist coupling). The design risks involved in this are a direct function of the prediction uncertainty of the tools, and the development has called for extensive efforts to reduce this uncertainty by implementing and validating more sophisticated modelling approaches. Recently, the super-element approach has been implemented in HAWC2 to optimize the linkage between very detailed component structural modelling (FEM for stress and strain) and the more simplified beam modelling needed for system modelling (HAWC2). This applies to both blades and other components (e.g., pitch system, yaw system, substructure).


Head of Section

Katherine Dykes
Head of Section
DTU Wind Energy
+45 21 79 92 59