Power & Energy Solutions

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The development of a MV power converter for FC wind turbines up to 15MW

In recent years, wind energy has become the main source of renewable energy and it is expected to be the number 1 source of power in Europe before 2030 [1]. By now, thanks to the environmental agreements signed by developed countries and being the drive to address climate change, an exponential increase of wind turbine installations has occurred and much more is predicted in the coming decades.

With the rapid change of the wind industry based on the increase of the number of onshore wind turbines together with the take-off of the offshore installations, the requirements for grid integration are getting increasingly demanding [2].

Even if onshore wind power still has a growth margin, the most optimal locations are taken in most countries and now eyes are focused on the sea. The advantage of locating wind turbines offshore is that the wind is much stronger, and unlike onshore, gusts can be strong in the afternoon, matching the time of higher electricity demand. However, offshore installations are more expensive, with difficult access and much harsher conditions than onshore.

The optimization of the LCoE (Levelized Cost of Energy) has been the path within the wind industry over the past years [3], highly influenced by the low prices fixed on the auction system, extended in almost every country around the world (i.e. Brazil, Canada, India, Germany). Such cost reductions are driven by several factors, such as the continuous technological improvement, which is expected to remain a constant in the renewable power generation market.

Along with the technological improvement, the main wind turbine manufacturers increase the power rate of the turbines year by year [4]. Especially offshore, wind farms tend to have larger turbines, with the aim of decreasing grid connection and installation costs, thus increasing the cost effectiveness of the turbine. In the end, bigger wind turbines with larger swept areas harvest more electricity from the same resource. What at the same time becomes one of the most important challenges in terms of technology?



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