In order to improve the performances of small wind turbines it is necessary to better understand the steady state and dynamic behavior of such wind turbines. This can be achieved by developing a wind turbine emulator, which will reflect the actual behavior of a wind turbine.
The aim of this research is to develop a novel small wind turbine emulator to enhance the R & D activities in small wind turbine industries. The experimental rig consists of a PC, Lab Master I/O board, power electronics circuitry and a 3HP separately excited DC motor which drives a synchronous generator. Varying aerodynamic power of the wind turbine due to furling action and its resulting dynamics are incorporated in the emulator with the use of a PC based wind turbine model. In order to reflect the inertia of a small wind turbine an inertia disk is designed and coupled to the generator shaft. A simple digital PI controller is designed which makes sure that the actual rotational speed of the motor is tracking the theoretical rotational speed of the wind turbine rotor.
Preliminary tests were performed and expected results were observed. This emulator is a strong platform for the design and development of small wind turbine controller and power electronics. Such an emulator would be very useful for a renewable energy industry before installing the actual wind turbine.