Modern wind turbines are capable of producing thousands of watts of energy, all without polluting the air or destroying our mountains. But in order for wind power to compete with the entrenched fossil fuel and nuclear energy industries, it has to be cost-effective, which means it has to be efficient.
Wind, on the other hand, likes to be unpredictable. Depending on the weather, wind turbines can face whispering breezes or gale-force gusts. Such variable conditions make extracting the maximum power from the turbines a tricky control problem, but a collaboration of Chinese researchers in a new study may have found a novel solution to this situation.
The study, recently described in the American Institute of Physics’ Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy, investigates the benefits of a biologically inspired control system that would be able to memorize its responses to changing wind speeds. In essence, the research team developed a human-inspired learning model.