The electrical connection between the wind turbine and the electricity grid is a complex system. In terms of technology, there are many challenges in the fields of wiring, HVAC, HVDC, power factor compensation systems, DC-switching, power electronics and electrical protection and control (SCADA). Developments that play a role include higher voltages, the availability and quality of the infield network and export cables, different frequencies and higher availability requirements.
The development of an offshore network with e-hubs allows for connection of offshore wind farms to the European markets. The fluctuating behavior of wind is becoming more important to the energy flows in the European grid. One solution is the smart transmission grid (or smart super grid), where transmission-level smart control capabilities are built into the net. A connection can be made to the Topsector Energy’s system integration programme, which deals with energy storage, demand-side management, and conversion, with a particular application being cooperation offshore.
The R&D Activities
- Increasing the availability and capacity of the grid connection, for example by means of monitoring the integrity of the cables, redundancy, security, and other techniques.
- Smart transmission grid. Developing and demonstrating smart control capabilities at the level of wind turbine, wind farm and substation. The deployment of wind turbine and wind farm to provide ancillary services, such as improving the production flexibility, supporting the net, and coordination between wind farms in clusters.
- Optimisation and cost reduction of the offshore grid where the combination of wind turbines, wind farms and international interconnection play a role. This includes designing, demonstrating, as well standardizing the technology, design of electricity markets and adapting the regulatory.
- System integration – adding value through cooperation between offshore wind farms and other users of the North Sea. This can include topics such as sharing space, infrastructure, energy storage and conversion. The research will lead to cost reduction, an acceleration of the energy transition or increasing the potential for offshore wind.