Fraunhofer IWES has commissioned a new test bench to assess the grid compatibility for converter and generator systems for multi-megawatt turbines at its facility in Bremerhaven, northern Germany.
The new test bench makes it possible to achieve reproducible laboratory conditions for realistic validation tests, the research and development group explained.
Previously, such tests of turbines’ electrical characteristics would have had to be carried out in the field.
But using "laboratory conditions" makes testing cheaper and easier as assessments can be carried out regardless of the wind conditions and exclusively on the relevant turbine sub-system, the researchers added.
Tests of turbines’ grid compatibility will be especially important as grid operations place higher demands for projects being connected to the grid, Fraunhofer added.
“The requirements from grid connection rules are set to become more stringent in the future too, meaning that it will not be possible to test some of the characteristics of wind turbines in the field,” said Christian Wessels, director of electrical engineering at Nordex, which helped launch the testing regime alongside Fraunhofer IWES and Vestas.
“As a result, test methods for the electrical characteristics on test benches will be of even greater relevance in the future.”
Wessels added that such testing should help manufacturers satisfy growing market demands for shorter development times and higher model variety.
In a recent report, DNV GL claimed that in the future renewable energy projects – including wind farms – will help provide grid services such as frequency response and reactive power.
Fraunhofer IWES also announced details of two planned expansions of its testing facility at Bremerhaven on the German North Sea coast.
It aims to commission a mobile test facility for grid compliance tests and a power quality test and impedance model validation to optimise turbines’ main converters in 2022.