Data-driven torque and pitch control of wind turbines via reinforcement learning

Jingjie Xie, Hongyang Dong, Xiaowei Zhao

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


This paper addresses the torque and pitch control problems of wind turbines. The main contribution of this work is the development of an innovative reinforcement learning (RL)-based control method targeting wind turbine applications. Our RL-based control framework synergistically combines the advantages of deep neural networks (DNNs) and model predictive control (MPC) technologies. The proposed control strategy is data-driven, adapting to real-time changes in system dynamics and enhancing control performance and robustness. Additionally, the incorporation of an MPC structure within our design improves learning efficiency and reduces the high computational complexity typically found in deep RL algorithms. Specifically, a DNN is designed to approximate the wind turbine dynamics based on a continuously updated dataset composed of state and action measurements taken at specified sampling intervals. The real-time control policy is generated by integrating the online trained DNN into an MPC architecture. The proposed method iteratively updates the DNN and control policy in real-time to optimize performance. As a primary result of this work, the proposed method demonstrates superior robustness and control performance compared to commonly-employed MPC and other baseline wind turbine controllers in the presence of uncertainties and unexpected actuator faults. This effectiveness is showcased through simulations with a high-fidelity wind turbine simulator.

Original languageEnglish
Article number118893
JournalRenewable Energy
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Deep neural network
  • Model predictive control
  • Reinforcement learning
  • Wind turbine control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment


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