picture of The floating wind turbine Hywind

The floating wind turbine Hywind (Photo: Trude Refsahl / Statoil)

A software framework for real time control systems is being evaluated for use in floating wind turbines. The framework MARTe is a toolbox of qualified software modules for the construction of real time applications which is used at several European fusion devices. Scientists at the Portugese Euratom/IST Association developed it for the JET vertical stabilization system, which keeps the plasma in its vertical position by applying corrective magnetic fields in real time. One of MARTe’s strengths is the fact that it easily connects to simulation programs and provides a simple way to validate any systems for which a simulation model is available.

Because of this flexibility, IST’s Centre of Marine Technology and Engineering recognised MARTe as potential solution for a real time control system in floating wind turbines. These turbines are being investigated for use in off-shore wind parks where the ocean is too deep to mount devices in the seafloor – as it is the case along much of the Portuguese Atlantic coast. However, floating wind turbines behave like pendulums and the interaction between wind, turbine and waves can cause resonances. To avoid these, control systems must adjust the pitch angle of the rotor blades according to wind speed and wave height in real time. IST has won a three-year research contract to validate and design a real time control system for floating wind turbines based on the MARTe framework.

MARTe(Multi-threaded Application Real-Time executor): Horácio Fernandes, IST: hf AT ipfn.ist.utl DOT pt
Floating wind turbines: Nuno Fonseca, IST, nunofonseca AT ist.utl DOT pt