ABB reveals new low-voltage convertor

SWITZERLAND: ABB has revealed a new low-voltage wind turbine converter that it claims will lower the levelised cost of energy.

The ACS880 converter can work with turbines with a capacity of 0.8MW to 8MW, with the higher powered models requiring a system of parallel-connected converters. It can be used with offshore or onshore turbines.

The liquid-cooled converter is available in in-line and back-to-back configurations and for operation with induction and permanent magnet generators.

ABB said that the converter's compact footprint should allow for nacelle and tower installations.

The manufacturer expects the product to lower the levelised cost of energy by "ensuring high turbine uptime, greater efficiency during operation, advanced grid code compliance, easy maintenance and lower lifecycle cost".

ABB's direct torque control monitors the generator's torque in order to react and control the generator side and grid side converters. This should lessen drivetrain oscillations, thereby extending the mechanical drivetrain's life expectancy, the company said.

Depending on the wind conditions, the sub-converters are activated or deactivated to increase the converter's overall efficiency. If one of the sub-converters fails, the faulty unit is automatically disconnected and the converter continues operating at partial load.

The new converter will be officially introduced at EWEA 2014 in Barcelona next week.