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Wind Energy Conversion Systems (WECS) WECS convert wind energy into electrical energy: Wind energy ->mechanical

rotational energy -> electrical energy. The principal component of the WECS is the wind turbine (WT). WT rotor is coupled to the generator throught a multiple-ratio gearbox or, gearless in small power applications. Usualy induction generators, (squirrel-cage (SCIG) or doubly-fed (DFIG)), or permanent magnet synchrounous generators (PMSG) are used in WECS. WT main components A wind turbine has three major components: the tower, the rotor and nacelle. Generally, the rotor may have two or three blades.

For MW-range wind turbines, the rotational speed is typically 10-15 rpm, increasing with the power, up to approx. 400rpm for kW range. The usual wind speed domain is 4 to 14 m/s corresponding to the minimum amd the rated output power. They usually operate up to a wind speed of 25 m/s, after that stopping the operation.

WECS components The main parts of a WECS include: - Wind power rotor (two, three-blades) - Gearbox (optional gearless) - Generator (SCIG, DFIG, WRIG, PMSG) - Power converter (optional) - Power transformer (optional) All the active components are placed in the nacelle

Capacity factor The capacity factor (CF) of a wind turbine expresses the ratio of the average power output to rated power and it strongly depends of the site characteristics, varying between 15 % (low wind speed locations) to 40 % (high wind speed locations). The global average is around 20%. The power plans have a capacity factor that is not an indicator of the power plant efficiency. The capacity factor of a WT is mainly determind by: operating at less than maximum output, shut down due to excessive or inadequate wind velocity or other shut downs. Basic of wind energy conversion Wind turbines extract the energy from the wind by transferring the thrusting force of the air passing through the turbine rotor into the rotor blades. The rotor blades are airfoils that act similary to an aircraft wing; this is the so-called principle lift. As an effect of the resulting air flow, the differential pressure creates a thrust force. The lifting force is perpendicular to the direction of the resulting force (resulting wing speed). As s result, the lifting force is converted into a mechanical torque.

Power curve of WT The output power of a wind turbine is determined by several factors such as wind velocity, size and shape of the turbine. The mechanical power developed by the WT rotor is given by: 1 P = Cp Vw3 A 2 Where: - P is the WT output mechanical power - Cp is the performance coefficient is the air density (kg/m3) - Vw is the wind speed (m/s) - A is the blades swept area (m2) To achieve maximum power at different wind speeds the rotor rotational speed has to be modified. From this reason, the WT are mainly divided in fixed-speed and variable-speed. A maximum power point tracking (MPPT) mechanism characterizes the operation of variable-speed WTs. Fixed-speed and variable-speed WT The extracted mechanical power is higher for variable-speed configuration at all wind speeds. Variable-speed wind turbine yield greater annual power production compared with similar fixed-speed wind turbines This improvement in efficiency is obtain at the cost of greater complexity in the construction of the unit and some additional losses in the power electronic converters.

WT concepts 1. 2. 3. 4. The most commonly wind turbine designs can be categorized into four concepts: Fixed Speed WT (Type A) Partial Variable Speed WT with Variable Rotor Resistance (Type B) Variable Speed WT with partial-scale frequency converter (Type C) Variable Speed WT with Full-scale Power Converter (Type D)

The main differences between these concepts concern the generating systems and the way in witch the aerodynamics efficiency of the rotor is limited during the above the rated value in order to prevent overloading. 1. Fixed Speed Wind Turbines (Type A) This configuration is so called Danish concept that was very popular in 80s. This concept needs a reactive power compensator to reduce (almost eliminate) the reactive power demand from the turbine generators to the grid. Smoother grid connection occurs by incorporating a soft-starter, besed on tyristors. In a fixed speed wind turbine, the wind fluctuations are converted into mechanical fluctuations and further into electrialpower fluctuations. The main drawbacks are: does not support any speed control, requires a stiff grid and its mechanicals construction must be able to support high mechanical stress caused by wind gusts.

2. Partial Variable Speed Wind Turbine with Variable Rotor Resistance (Type B) This configuration corresponds to the limited variable speed controlled wind turbine with rotor resistance. In order to avoid the problems of introducing slip rings, Vestas designed a so called OptiSlip method.

The rotor winding is connected in series with a controlled resistance, whose size defines the range of the variable speed (typically 0-10% above synchronous speed). The energy coming from the external power conversion unit is dumped as heat loss, this beig a major disadvantage.

3. Variable Speed WT with partial-scale frequency converter (Type C) This configuration, known as doubly-fed induction generator (DFIG) concept, corresponds to the variable dpeed controlled wind turbine wind with a wound rotor induction generator (WRIG) and partial-scale frequency converter (appromax. 30% of nominal generator power). Speed range: typically 30% around synchronous speed. The converter performs the reactive power compensation and smooth grid connection. The smaller frequency converter makes this concept attractive from an economical point of view. Its main drawbacks are the use of slip-rings and the protection schemes in the case of grid faults.

4. Variable Speed Wind Turbine with Full-scale Power Converter (Type D) This configuration corresponds to the full variable speed controlled wind turbine, with the generator connected to the grid through a full-scale frequency converter. The frequency converter converter performs the reactive power compensation and a smooth grod connection for the entire speed range. The generator can be SCIG or PMSG. Some variable speed wind turbines systems are gearless. In these cases, a direct driven multipole generator is used.

Type D WT with PMSG For small-scale applications, PMSG is mostly used. A major cost benefit in using PMSG is that no external excitation source is required.

Power limitation

It is important to be able to control and limit the converted mechanical power at high wind speeds.

The power limitation may be done by: stall control (the blades position is fixed but stall of the wind appears along the blades at higher wind speed) turbulent wind flow

active stall (the blades angle is adjusted in order to create stall along the blades)

pitch control (the blades are turned out of the wind at higher wind speed) active power reduction

Turning the rotor into the wind (Yawind) For maximum power extraction from the wind, the rotor has to be aligned with the wind stream direction. Turning the rotor into the wind is called yawing. WT up to 10m diameter may be yawed into the wind passively by using tail vanes. For larger wind turbines this method is no longer feasible as tail vane wound to be to large. Instead, electronic or hydraulic motors are used to turn the rotor (nacelle) into the wind active yaw. These are called yaw drives. A wind vane whose are attached on the back of the nacelle is used to check the wind direction and the WT controller acts the yaw mechanism.

Turning the rotor out of the wind (Furling) After a certain wind velocity, (about 25m/s) the wind turbine is turned off. Small wind turbine (kW range) can still operate at maximum power, up to 40m/s wind speed, but require some mechanical control systems to reduce their output power and rotational speed. Changing the angle of the oncoming air stream by turning the nacelle out of the wind is known as furling. kW range WT use passive furling methods to turn blades out of the wind either horizontally or vertically. They use spring-based mechanisms that ay a certain wind speed triggers and deviate the rotor. Large WT use complex mechanisms to shut down in storm condition using the yaw drive and breakes.