Ingeteam has announced that a recent in-house R&D study allowed them to work out the optimal electrical power conversion designs for offshore wind turbines up to 15 MW. The research, taking into account the complex set of parameters at play in LCoE, enabled the company to develop a Medium Voltage Power Converter based on the parallelization of several conversion lines (core product) reaching up to the 15 MW power range. Ingeteam claims that its new design is the ideal solution for scaling up offshore turbine platforms and will present its converter and the associated research at the Global Wind Summit in Hamburg next month.
Ingeteam’s R&D study assessed the complex relationship between the cost of the power conversion stage and its reliability and maintainability metrics (MTBF and MTTR respectively) to determine the lowest LCoE. Based on the study findings, Ingeteam found that the optimal solution for the offshore wind market is a Medium Voltage Power Converter based on the parallelization of several conversion lines (core product) reaching up to the 15 MW power range. The power conversion line designed by Ingeteam offers the best investment/availability ratio, with efficient operation, easy maintenance and improved reliability.
“With current technologies, as well as the expected progress in materials and engineering integration, we think that offshore wind turbines will continue to rapidly increase their power capacity. Therefore, a robust medium voltage power converter has been developed focusing on a market that demands a low Levelized Cost of Energy (LCoE) without compromising quality or performance in wind turbine platforms that are continuously scaling up“, commented Ana Goyen, Director of Ingeteam Wind Energy.
Ingeteam’s new core product is capable of reaching the 15 MW power range and has been conceived considering the modularity of the system as a key feature. It therefore allows multiple solutions depending on customer requirements regarding the integration in the wind turbine. The design of the converter offers maintenance friendly characteristics with front access and withdrawable main components that directly contribute to minimize the OPEX related to the service of the wind turbine.
This medium voltage converter has been specially designed for the offshore market with fully enclosed cabinet and a liquid cooling system that guarantees the safe operation of the converter even in harsh environments. With efficiencies higher than >98% at rated operating conditions, the proposed solution contributes significantly to minimize the production losses of the wind turbine.
Ingeteam has developed the control algorithms of its full power converters to guarantee the fulfillment of the most demanding grid codes, such as, German EON-2006 and Indian CERC-CEA. Additionally, country-specific power quality requirements are fulfilled by applying advanced modulation strategies. Ingeteam’s medium voltage converter solution is able to control the torque of different types of generators (IG, PMG or EESG) with the highest performance dynamics but always remaining within winding and bearing limits. Finally, the control algorithms can be adapted to operate with single and multiphase stator generators in order to optimize the whole wind turbine solution.
 The availability depends on two metrics: Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF) and Mean Time Between Repair (MTTR). It grows with higher values of MTBF and lower values of MTTR. But there is also a direct relationship with costs as higher investments allow better materials or even the additions of redundancies, more advanced tools and optimal maintenance programmes.