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Special Issue "The Impact and Innovation of Wind Turbine Technologies"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Energy Sustainability".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 October 2017

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Carsten H. Westergaard

Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX 79409, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: wind energy technology and innovation; aero-elasticity; fluid structure interaction; aerodynamics; turbulence; optical measurement technology; microfluidics

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The global wind industry is a renewable leader and makes a significant impact on the worldwide energy production. The local and global benefits are many, ranging from CO2 reductions and water savings to local economic benefits. In the wind pioneering country of Denmark, the yearly wind energy production has exceeded 42%. Indeed, several days a year, wind power exceeds 100% of the load. The new large Danish windfarms are built offshore—in part due to public resistance towards onshore wind—and are highly efficient. In the state of Texas, more than almost 12% of the energy is provided by huge land based wind farms. Wind energy, occasionally exceeding 45% of the load and the fleet, is operating with a capacity factor above the US average. In absolute numbers, Texas wind power is about four times bigger than Denmark’s. Unlike Denmark, Texas has vast space, great land based wind resources and often great local enthusiasm with little or no public resistance. In China, the development of the wind industry has been rapid, often in remote areas, based on strong government mandates. In absolute numbers, China has eight times more wind power than Texas, but operates at a much lower average capacity factor. The average growth rate of the fleet in recent years is about 10%, 25%, and 60% for the three territories, respectively.

What these three rollouts of wind energy have in common is a strong technical plan, political willingness to integrate wind into the grid and expand the grid without energy storage, combined with an industry appetite for investment and engagement. However, the similarities probably stop here. In Denmark, the primary turbine technology is offshore, in Texas it is onshore IEC wind class II turbines, and in China it is often low wind technology in a complex terrain. The regional industry structure and regulatory environment is obviously different and therefore, the regional technology focus is also quite different and has taken completely different historical technology tracks. So, while the industry is global, the technology solutions have a large component of local adaptation to the industry structure.

In this Special Issue, we celebrate the wind turbine technologies, manufacturing, deployment and operation technologies, which have made this growth possible. We will examine how technology overcomes barriers, is continuously innovated and continuously makes wind energy more cost effective. We will also ask which new technologies are essential to future success in all parts of the world, including the energy poor areas where distributed generation may be more important. Finally, the question will be posed, which technology research and education is needed to secure future impact?

Prof. Carsten H. Westergaard
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


BP Statistical Review of World Energy (2015), 65th edition, BP p.l.c., London, UK, June 2016. Available online: https://www.bp.com/content/dam/bp/pdf/energy-economics/statistical-review-2016/bp-statistical-review-of-world-energy-2016-full-report.pdf.

Heymann, M. Signs of Hubris: The Shaping of Wind Technology Styles in Germany, Denmark, and the United States, 1940–1990.

Jamieson, P. Innovation in Wind Turbine Design; Wiley: Hoboken, NJ, USA, 2011.

Wiser, R.H.; Bolinger, R.H. 2015 Wind Technologies Market Report, U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), August 2016. Available online: http://energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2016/08/f33/2015-Wind-Technologies-Market-Report-08162016.pdf.


  • Wind turbine technology
  • Wind farm technology
  • Wind turbine history
  • Wind energy policies
  • Utility scale wind
  • Small wind
  • Building integrated wind
  • Distributed wind
  • Wind turbine technology trends
  • Wind energy conversion systems
  • Cost of energy
  • Technical deployment barriers
  • Technology innovation
  • Low-carbon industry
  • Low carbon supply chain
  • Materials science and technology
  • Economics
  • Social acceptance
  • Manufacturing
  • Installations
  • Operations
  • Value chain
  • Business models
  • Grid integration
  • Micro grid
  • Energy storage

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessArticle Comparative Analysis of Decoupling Control Methodologies and H Multivariable Robust Control for Variable-Speed, Variable-Pitch Wind Turbines: Application to a Lab-Scale Wind Turbine
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 713; doi:10.3390/su9050713
Received: 21 February 2017 / Revised: 4 April 2017 / Accepted: 27 April 2017 / Published: 29 April 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (5462 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
This work is focused on the improvement of variable-speed variable-pitch wind turbine performance by means of its control structure. This kind of systems can be considered as multivariable nonlinear processes subjected to undesired interactions between variables and presenting different dynamics at different operational
[...] Read more.
This work is focused on the improvement of variable-speed variable-pitch wind turbine performance by means of its control structure. This kind of systems can be considered as multivariable nonlinear processes subjected to undesired interactions between variables and presenting different dynamics at different operational zones. This interaction level and the dynamics uncertainties complicate the control system design. The aim of this work is developing multivariable controllers that cope with such problems. The study shows the applicability of different decoupling methodologies and provides a comparison with a H controller, which is an appropriate strategy to cope with uncertainties. The methodologies have been tested in simulation and verified experimentally in a lab-scale wind turbine. It is demonstrated that the wind turbine presents more interaction at the transition zone. Then, this operational point is used as the nominal one for the controller designs. At this point, decoupling controllers obtain perfect decoupling while the H control presents important interaction in the generated power loop. On the other hand, they are slightly surpassed by the robust design at other points, where perfect decoupling is not achieved. However, decoupling controllers are easier to design and implement, and specifically dynamic simplified decoupling achieve the best global response. Then, it is concluded that the proposed methodologies can be considered for implantation in industrial wind turbines to improve their performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Impact and Innovation of Wind Turbine Technologies)

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