Expert advice for American developers at this month’s Windpower event in Orlando

To kick off AWEA Windpower 2015, ABB hosted an expert session focused on technologies and solutions that can help optimize wind farms.

This past May, wind experts around the world joined together for the largest wind conference in America, AWEA Windpower 2015. To kick off the event, ABB hosted an expert session on how to optimize wind farms with technologies and solutions. Were you there?

If not, I’m bringing the five key take aways to you. The day before AWEA Windpower, six wind technology experts led a workshop with over 50 renewable professionals to discuss designing and managing wind farms in today’s economy. Together these experts focused on 5 key tips to ensure wind developers get the most out of their windfarm.

  1. Planning ahead to avoid common pitfalls. Vythahavya Vadlamani, senior consulting engineer, kicked off the session discussing common pitfalls when planning a wind farm. A few of the failures discussed were due to sub-synchronous resonances, harmonic loading, and harmonic, transient, and dynamic overvoltages.
  2. Selecting the right transformer to balance your needs. Aniruddha Narawane, transformer engineering manager, discussed energy efficient transformers. The fact that transformers in this application are exposed to extreme load changes makes the design phase that much more important. He suggested not thinking of the transformer as a distribution transformer and stressed the challenge in balancing the performance improvements with cost and size reductions.
  3. Making sure you have a reliable power source. Nick Powers, global product marketing manager, discussed the challenges that come with reliably powering the substations in remote locations that are typical of wind farm installations. A Station Service Voltage Transformer (SSVT) is a hybrid device coupling the dielectric performance of an inductive voltage transformer with the larger core of a distribution/power transformer in a compact design.   It is more costly than a typical inductive transformer, but is easily sited, with constant availability, and reliability when compared to other possible power sources. Further, it removes the power transformer tertiary from the station service role and this reduces potential short-circuit and better controls 3rd harmonics.
  4. Understanding the challenges associated with integrating renewables.  Pat Hayes, business development manager for energy storage, explained the grid connection challenges associated with integrating renewables, and the advantages of utilizing STATCOM and energy storage in a renewable farm. Energy storage can be used to balance the variability in power supply and demand. This can be beneficial in many applications, such as load leveling, peak shaving, and for uninterruptible power supply. A STATCOM operates as a self-sufficient voltage or power factor regulator, and contains highly programmable control systems with optional features than can further help enhance power quality and network performance.
  5. Utilizing tools that exist to help you monitor and control your wind farm. Sameer Kapoor and Clinton Davis, both experts in renewable farm management, highlighted existing solutions that can enable you to leverage Big Data for superior insights into farm level performance leading to better decisions. ABB’s software solutions can integrate multiple wind turbines and farms to provide wind farm diagnostics, condition monitoring, power management, power and price forecasting, in addition to real time monitoring. They also discussed how these solutions can improve turbine performance, market predictions, asset health, and much more.

For more detail on the topics covered during this training, please see this presentation: ABB Technical Training at AWEA .

Please explore this portal to learn more about ABB’s Windpower Solutions. To learn more about the conference, visit AWEA.

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About the author

Dennis Mckinley

Hi, I'm Dennis Mckinley, head of Wind Power for ABB North America. ABB provides a lot of pieces and parts into the wind industry. My job is to present all ABB’s wind solutions to you as one, comprehensive package. I've been with ABB for nearly 3 decades. My background is in engineering from Franklin University and Rochester Institute of Technology.
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