Wind turbines that learn like humans

Mar 27, 2012

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 may have found a novel solution in human-inspired learning models.

Most turbines are designed to produce maximum allowable power once winds reach a certain speed, called the rated speed. In winds above or below the rated speed, control systems can make changes to the turbine system, such as modifying the angle of the blades or the electromagnetic torque of the generator. These changes help keep the high in low winds and protect the turbine from damage in high winds.

Many control systems rely on complex and computationally expensive models of the turbine's behavior, but the Chinese group decided to experiment with a different approach. The researchers developed a biologically inspired control system, described in the American Institute of Physics' Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy, that used memory of past control experiences and their outcomes to generate new actions. In simulations, the controller showed initially poor results, but quickly learned how to improve, matching the performance of a more traditional control system overall.

The memory-based system is attractive because of its simplicity, the researchers write, concluding that "the human-memory-based method holds great promise for enhancing the efficiency of wind ."

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More information: "A Bio-inspired Approach to Enhancing Wind Power Conversion" is published in the Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy.

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User comments : 16

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OverweightAmerican
1.8 / 5 (10) Mar 27, 2012
A team of Chinese researchers? My question is who's idea was this originally? Who's idea did they steal?
Vendicar_Decarian
0.4 / 5 (41) Mar 27, 2012
I think they stole the ideas of Issac Newton, Charles Babbage, and Charles Darwin.

All English if I remember correctly.
Estevan57
2.7 / 5 (19) Mar 27, 2012
Business weekly magazine has an excellent story about turbine control systems stolen by Chinese companies.

http://www.busine...5_12.htm
Vendicar_Decarian
0.4 / 5 (39) Mar 28, 2012
Claptrap.

Information can never be stolen.

The Chinese are simply playing the business game to win.
America has a losing hand, and is whining about it.

"It's not fair. I got's losing cards, and I'm so old and feeble. Please have pity on me." - American Business

MarkyMark
1 / 5 (2) Mar 29, 2012
Perhaps America should be more proactive in chastising China by writing a very angry letter ( mwa-hahahahaha ).
Estevan57
2.8 / 5 (18) Mar 30, 2012
Doesn't suit your politics, Vendi?
Vendicar_Decarian
0.1 / 5 (35) Mar 31, 2012
Without freedom of thought there are no other legitimate forms of freedom.

The concept of information ownership is incompatible with freedom of thought.
Callippo
not rated yet Mar 31, 2012
When wind turbine gets crazy like humans - it turned its rotors toward strong wind obstinately, so its dynamo has been smashed and burned alive...
Estevan57
2.6 / 5 (20) Apr 01, 2012
"The concept of information ownership is incompatible with freedom of thought." Crap. Sounds like metaphysical libertarian horse manure to me. No patents, free software for all, Pirate Bay rules the world. Bah.
Vendicar_Decarian
0.2 / 5 (36) Apr 01, 2012
Actually Libertarians hold that Libraries are places of wholesale information theft sanctioned by Evil Gubderment.

Libertarians are opposed to freedom of thought.
210
4 / 5 (4) Apr 01, 2012
"The concept of information ownership is incompatible with freedom of thought." Crap. Sounds like metaphysical libertarian horse manure to me. No patents, free software for all, Pirate Bay rules the world. Bah.

Estevanie, Open Source software is 'free' and does wonders for websites, apps and app creation, databases and database management, in fact everything from rocket launches to internal surgery, to library and actuarial science uses 'free' Open Source software..even this worldwide web...and they ALL MAKE MONEY....Redhat is one of the oldest open source businesses in the world. IT is worth over a Billion dollars: THAT aint hay, buddy. DO you have a Billion dollars? I did not think so...but, BUT, start an Open source firm and YOU can.

Think again Estevanie, " Think Different..."

word-
Estevan57
2.6 / 5 (20) Apr 01, 2012
210, as a former programmer I am quite aware of the advantages of open source software, Red Hat, Linux, Unix, etc. however, these are the relevant posts I was referring to:

"A team of Chinese researchers? My question is who's idea was this originally? Who's idea did they steal?"

"Business weekly magazine has an excellent story about turbine control systems stolen by Chinese companies."

The issue I had raised was copyright and industrial theft of software and firmware by the Chinese wind turbine industry.

Not the concept of general information ownership.
Is 210 half 420? ;)
xen_uno
3.7 / 5 (3) Apr 01, 2012
Ven .. stick to science and only science as you excel at that. Your social commentary, however, paints you as a liberal wearing utopian glasses that blind you from the harsh realities of real life. Maybe having a gun stuck in your face (or knife at throat) in a mugging or home invasion mite allow you to see things in a different light. Libertarians such as I are free thinking and encourage others to do the same ... not along party lines. Only they have real solutions. The other parties just want to pacify and pander for votes.

Wind turbines are a fad ... talk about energy sprawl. Inefficient for the money spent and ugly too. I don't like coal ... but one coal burner properly detoxified generates more power than acres and acres of wind turbines. Obama Bin Laden obviously wears a set of those utopian glasses too.
210
2.6 / 5 (5) Apr 02, 2012
210, as a former programmer I am quite aware of the advantages of open source software, Red Hat, Linux, Unix, etc. however, these are the relevant posts I was referring to:

"A team of Chinese researchers? My question is who's idea was this originally? Who's idea did they steal?"

"Business weekly magazine has an excellent story about turbine control systems stolen by Chinese companies."

The issue I had raised was copyright and industrial theft of software and firmware by the Chinese wind turbine industry.

Estevanie, you wrote, " Who's [sic] idea did they steal?" But the article was not about Chinese theft! All Chinese do not steal! Do they Estevanie? Do ALL Chinese steal? Did THESE Chinese steal? You have a point to make...you're a smart person. Don't yield to the temptation of bigotry and unwarranted character assassination. You know something that we don't, give us your sources. I answered you because I do value Open Source and like competing with ANYONE!
word-
Vendicar_Decarian
0 / 5 (35) Apr 02, 2012
Genetic algorithms have been around since the origin of readily available general purpose computers.

I've seen them demonstrated since the 1960's, and even in kids shows from the late 1970's.

Applying machine learning to windmills is a trivial concept that has no person can legitimately claim to have first thought, let alone own.

China is playing the economic game to win.
America can't remember how to tie it's own shoe laces.

Game over.
Estevan57
2.6 / 5 (20) Apr 02, 2012
"Estevanie, you wrote, " Who's [sic] idea did they steal?""
No, I did not, please look again. I did repost it as a quote but got in a hurry and left without a explanatory comment.

"Business weekly magazine has an excellent story about turbine control systems stolen by Chinese companies." My post.

I don't really see any accusation or racism in this comment. It gives a link to a major business weekly magazine about a well documented case that is related to the article above and the comment of Overweightamerican. Enough said. Thats all.

America is the largest manufacturer in the world. It manufactures more declinism and self pity than anyone.