Research within digital fluid power (DFP) transmissions is receiving an increased attention as an alternative to conventional transmission technologies. The use of DFP displacement machines entails a need for applicable control algorithms. However, the design and analysis of controllers for such digital systems are complicated by its non-smooth behavior. In this paper a control design approach for a digital displacement machine® is proposed and a performance analysis of a wind turbine using a DFP transmission is presented. The performance evaluation is based on a dynamic model of the transmission with a DFP motor, which has been combined with the NREL 5-MW reference wind turbine model. A classical variable speed control strategy for wind speeds below rated is proposed for the turbine, where the pump displacement is fixed and the digital motor displacement is varied for pressure control. The digital motor control strategy consists of a full stroke operation strategy, where a Delta-Sigma pulse density modulator is used to determine the chamber activation sequence. In the LQR-control design approach, the discrete behavior of the motor and Delta-Sigma modulator is described by a discrete linear time invariant model. Using full-field flow wind profiles as input, the design approach and control performance is verified by simulation in the dynamic model of the wind turbine featuring the DFP transmission. Additionally, the performance is compared to that of the conventional NREL reference turbine, transmission and controller.

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