This paper proposes an adaptive fault tolerant control (FTC) design for a variable speed wind turbine (WT) operating in the high wind speeds region. It aims at mitigating pitch actuator faults and regulating the generator power to its rated value, thereby reducing the mechanical stress in the high wind speeds region. The proposed FTC design implements a sliding mode control (SMC) approach with an adaptation law that estimates the upper bounds of the uncertainties. System stability and uniform boundedness of the outputs was proven using the Lyapunov stability theory. The proposed approach was validated on a 5 MW three-blade wind turbine modeled using the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s (NREL) Fatigue, Aerodynamics, Structures and Turbulence (FAST) wind turbine simulator. The controller’s performance was assessed in the presence of several pitch actuator faults and turbulent wind conditions. Its performance was also compared to that of a standard SMC approach. Mitigation of blade pitch actuator faults, generation of uniform power, smoother pitching actions and reduced chattering compared to standard SMC approach are among the main features of the proposed design.
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