D1 - Control of ORE farms

D - Sensing, Control and Electromechanics

Status - published
Last updated on: 26/03/2020


It is difficult to simultaneously maximize power generation, reduce fatigue load and minimize environment impact in complex ORE systems.


Develop and validate control technology for ORE farms to balance competing requirements.

Context And Need

The control of individual wind turbines has been well developed but techniques for tidal and wave devices are lagging. In addition load reduction and robust control technology for the next generation of wind turbines e.g. up to 20MW, faces new and big challenge, in particularly with blades becoming much larger and more flexible. Furthermore the control technology of ORE farms (as complicated distributed systems) needs further investigation to maximize the overall yield and increase fatigue lifetime while also minimising environmental impacts.


There are research challenges in the development of control technologies in order to optimise the performance of ORE systems under varying operating and survivability conditions, both for individual devices and for arrays. There is a need to develop and validate control technology to control the individual ORE device and the whole ORE farm to maximize the power capture, reduce the fatigue load and minimize the environment impact.

Impact Potential

Improved farm scale control will increase energy yield, reduce maintenance costs, minimise environment impact and thus enable a transition to larger ORE devices and farms. Improved control is needed to enable control of devices affected by combined wind, wave and tidal forcing. This can help reduce the cost of renewable energy and increase the deployment of ORE farms.

Research Status

Current activity includes:

1) UK-China - FENGBO-WIND - Farming the Environment into the Grid: Big data in Offshore Wind EP/R007470/1 2017-2020, https://gow.epsrc.ukri.org/NGBOViewGrant.aspx?GrantRef=EP/R007470/1

2) A New Partnership in Offshore Wind EP/R004900/1, 2017-2022, npow.group.shef.ac.uk/

Supergen ORE Hub - Flexible Funding Research - Enhancing Control Capability of ORE Systems for Stress Management and Grid Support

Lead Institution: University of Warwick

Renewable energy systems work in variable and uncertain conditions, and this feature would naturally ask for transient overload capabilities of all components involved. Among the main components in an offshore renewable energy system, the power electronic stage is the only one lacking such a capability. This project will research a novel concept to assign, for the first time, a usable overload capability to power semiconductor devices and to use this capability in offshore renewable energy systems, for the purposes of stress reduction and grid support.


Links to Industry Priorities:

Offshore Wind Innovation Hub - O&M and Windfarm Lifecycle innovation priorities



We would also like to invite UK researchers and industry stakeholders within ORE to submit links to research projects, both past and present, for inclusion within the landscape.

Therefore, if you have a UK-based research project within an area of ORE that you feel is relevant to a specific research theme or challenge within the Research Landscape, click HERE to submit your research project to the research landscape


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