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Wind Plant Studies

Addressing Wind Plant Power Quality Issues

Wind power is the fastest growing form of electric generation in the world. Environmental friendliness, proven turbine technologies, and dramatically declining costs of production are driving unprecedented growth in the industry.

As wind plants grow in size and number, power quality issues such as harmonics, flicker, and overvoltage become important considerations. Electrotek provides a range of technical and analytical services related to wind plants and we can assist with many power system and power quality issues.

Harmonic Studies

Electrotek performs harmonic studies for wind power plants. Variable speed turbines that utilize power electronics can produce harmonic voltages and currents that can violate interconnection requirements. Wind plant collector systems usually include extensive underground cable systems that create harmonic resonance considerations that can lead to equipment damage. We evaluate and design harmonic filters for wind plants.

Frequency Response Characteristic
Frequency Response Characteristic

Electrotek utilizes its own SuperHarm™ software package to model the transmission system, the wind plant collector system, the reactive power system, and the turbine harmonic source characteristics. These models allow simulation studies to be performed to determined potential problems and their most economical solutions. Electrotek also uses experience and site measurements to validate the results of the modeling and simulations.

Power Quality Monitoring

Power quality monitoring is often done by wind plants at the point of connection to the transmission system, at the collector system main bus, or at individual turbines. The monitoring may be performed to evaluate compliance with power quality standards, or to troubleshoot electrical problems. Electrotek uses instruments that can store data for several weeks. For some projects the instruments are connected to a telephone line or internet connection in conjunction with our service.

wind plant output
Single-Phase Fault

We evaluate individual turbines with methods from IEC 61400-21 “Wind turbines – Part 21: Measurement and assessment of power quality characteristics of grid connected wind turbines”. We also monitor the point of common coupling with the utility transmission system against the IEEE Std. 519 “Recommended Practices and Requirements for Harmonic Control in Electrical Power Systems” and IEEE Std. 1453 “Recommended Practice for Measurement and Limits of Voltage Fluctuations and Associated Light Flicker on AC Power Systems.”

Electrotek completed a major project that spanned several years for the National Renewable Energy Laboratory to collect information from two large wind plants in the central U.S. We also evaluate turbine electrical characteristics and monitor the collector system for unusual operating conditions.

Overvoltage, Grounding and Arrester Evaluations

Wind plant collector systems are prone to overvoltage conditions due to their special characteristics. We evaluate grounding transformers, station class surge arresters, and elbow style arresters on wind plant collector systems. We perform power system simulation studies of the collector system by modeling the network, turbine characteristics, and VAR compensation systems.

Temporary Overvoltage
Temporary Overvoltage

Analytical Capabilities and Tools

We utilize state-of-the-art computer simulation and analysis tools. We have expertise in a wide range of technical evaluations including electrical transient and harmonic analysis.

We use the following simulation and analysis tools

These tools are used throughout the power industry, and allow us to work with a wide range of model data formats.

PDF Icon Click here to download Electrotek's wind plant studies brochure.

PDF Icon Click here to download Electrotek's wind plant monitoring brochure.

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