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Calculating Wind Energy with Precision

Steinbeis team develops mathematical tool for certifying wind turbines

Generating power from renewable energy sources is a key focal point of the energy transition. It presents energy suppliers, grid operators, and turbine manufacturers with major challenges. The growing portion of wind energy flowing into the electricity supply is particularly demanding in terms of engineering, especially if the energy supply has to remain reliable. The Steinbeis Transfer Center called Energy-efficient power electronics for electrical drives and power storage systems, which is based at Aschaffenburg University of Applied Sciences, partnered up with Hottinger Baldwin Messtechnik GmbH to develop a mathematical process that can be used to certify wind turbines.

Manufacturers have a lot of experience with testing individual components in the development of wind turbines. Testing and inspecting a wind turbine as a complete system on the other hand is much more complicated. Not only does system output keep increasing, but the technical guidelines for certification are being drafted in evermore detail.

A precise measuring system is needed to carry out certification on the electrical components of wind turbines in field trials or on system test benches. This has to be based on a powerful mathematical evaluation and adhere to the TR3 technical guidelines published by the German development association for wind energy and other renewable energies (Fordergesellschaft Windenergie und andere Erneuerbare Energien FGW e.V.). Experts working with Prof. Dr.-Ing. Johannes Teigelkotter at the Steinbeis Transfer Center in Aschaffenburg joined forces with their project partners at Hottinger Baldwin Messtechnik to develop and test a mathematical procedure to capture and evaluate the operation of wind turbines at the feed point. Both project partners have been working together successfully for many years: In 2015, they were awarded the Steinbeis Foundations Transfer Award, the Lohn Award, for their transfer project on raw data analysis and precise efficiency measurements for electric drives. Their current project developed out of this previous collaboration.

One of the central challenges of the new collaborative project lies in the calculation of the active and reactive power over time in the currents and voltages at the feed point. To meet this challenge, the project team optimized a mathematical procedure which can now highly dynamically calculate the symmetrical components from the measured voltage and current paths. The symmetrical components measured in this way are needed to calculate further operational factors in the wind turbine in accordance with defined standards.

The above illustration shows the setup of a wind turbine plant with a wind turbine, transmission, generator, and converter for feeding energy into the power grid. What’s more, the system for taking precise measurements and analyzing the turbine is shown with important system outputs. The algorithms for recording the symmetrical components and additional types of analysis for wind turbines were based on this measurement system developed by Hottinger Baldwin Messtechnik.