Green: Automation, power connections help wind power applications

Automation-related products from ABB, Onset Computer, and Tyco Electronics are helping wind power electricity generation applications, including...
By Control Engineering Staff June 18, 2008

Automation-related products from ABB, Onset Computer, and Tyco Electronics are helping wind power electricity generation applications, including a large offshore wind farm, monitoring to improve wind and other green applications, and controls and communications to improve wind application efficiencies.
ABB helps Capital Wind Farm deliver clean electricity : Capital Wind Farm Project 50 km north of Canberra, Australia, recently awarded ABB a $20-million-dollar contract for a 330 kV electrical substation and power line. Upon completion, the wind farm project will comprise up to 63 2.1 MW wind turbines, translating to 132 MW of capacity. It is estimated that during a 25-year service life the farm will supply clean electricity for up to 90,000 households, resulting in a decrease of greenhouse gas emissions by an estimated 450,000 tons per year.
According to Rory McDonald, substations business unit manager, ABB Australia, “ABB was selected because of our demonstrated technical expertise with 330 kV voltages and high-quality products, coupled with our competitive offer. ABB’s high-end power technology is helping to increase grid reliability across the globe and follows on from the Group’s recent success with a $400-million award for power equipment to connect the world’s largest offshore wind farm to the German grid.”
ABB’s scope of supply includes 330 kV substation and 330 kV switchgear, primary and secondary design, supply of primary and secondary products, civil construction, electrical construction, and commissioning of the substation as a complete ABB-integrated solution. The company will supply two large 80 MVA power transformers, HV products, and associated equipment, as well as all protection and control systems.
This is the first time that ABB has worked with Suzlon, the fifth largest manufacturer and installer of wind power systems in the world. Suzlon Australia is building the wind farm on behalf of Renewable Power Ventures, ABB says; operational responsibility for the substation will be with Transgrid. The substation should be completed by early 2009 and will connect the wind farm to the Transgrid’s-Kangaroo Valley/Canberra 330 kV transmission line.

Onset Hobolink can track wind turbine efficiency by measuring wind speed, wind direction, and output power.

Onset announces WiFi-based monitoring solution to track renewable energy : Onset Computer Corp . released Hobo U30/Wi-Fi Remote Monitoring System, a Web-based monitoring system to provide real-time, remote access to energy and environmental data over any Wi-Fi network. The latest addition to Onset’s line of Hobo U30 Remote Monitoring Systems provides a simple, cost-effective means of verifying effectiveness of green roofs, solar power systems, wind turbines, and other renewable energy systems. It measures, records, and documents critical performance data that can be used to obtain green/energy-related rebates and credits.
“Verifying the performance of renewable energy systems is necessary not only for customer satisfaction, but to also satisfy the criteria that various rebate agencies have for documenting a system’s performance,” says Tom Wineman, owner of Clean Energy Design, a renewable energy design company. “The Hobo U30/Wi-Fi makes it easy to measure and verify system performance over time, and provides alarms for instant notification of any system problems that might be occurring. For installers, this can reduce or eliminate diagnostic time in the field.”
The Hobo U30/Wi-Fi combines rugged datalogging hardware with integrated Wi-Fi communications, and can be used in indoor and outdoor environments. Users can quickly plug in their choice of sensors and connect to a Wi-Fi network without cumbersome communications cables or wiring. Sensors are available for measuring air temperature, relative humidity, sunlight, wind, kW, kWh, ac voltage, ac amps, dc amps, pressure, and CO2.
To view and analyze data, Onset offers Hobolink, a new Web-enabled software platform that allows users to access current and historical data, set alarm notifications and relay activations, and manage and control remote Hobo U30/Wi-Fi systems from a desktop.
Around-the-clock monitoring of various types of renewable energy systems is provided. Hobolink can track wind turbine efficiency by measuring wind speed, wind direction, and output power. In solar power applications, it can verify performance of photovoltaic (PV) array systems by monitoring solar radiation, dc power, and other parameters. On green roofs, it can document performance by tracking air temperature, wind, soil moisture, and rainfall.
Tyco Electronics targets wind power applications : A portfolio of Tyco Electronics products address the needs of wind power applications and are suited for the power generation and for control and communications portions of the system. “We have been working closely with the innovative leaders in wind power to further develop our portfolio to meet the increasing demand of technology within the wind turbine,” says Eric Freid, director, Alternative Energy, Tyco Electronics. “Our customers benefit by having a single source for more interconnection and passive component solutions than offered by any other supplier. We will be introducing additional products for the wind power industry.”
Tyco products include:
• HVS Connector System: The modular, flexible system, developed for energy, industrial, and rail applications, accommodates fiber, coax, and signal contacts, plus high-voltage and high-current needs to 5,000 V and 250 A. It allows the widest variety of interconnection needs in the wind power system to be met with a single connector.
• High-Voltage Power Distribution Cable Assemblies: The custom-designed solutions for the power generation and control systems, both in the wind turbine nacelle and in the tower, use Raychem insulation and stress control materials, combined with flexible EPR insulated cable to make easy-to-install assemblies.
• Power Resistors: Meeting high-voltage/current needs such as braking and in-rush current protection, the resistors can be customized for specific application requirements.
• High-Current Contactors: Continuous current ratings of up to 500 A at 320 V dc, for power switching applications are typically found in the switchgear, pitch & yaw drives, and generators of wind turbines.
Also read:

Going Green Again

: Concerns about energy efficiency and environmental practices are back and gaining momentum, so automation vendors and their customers are helping ensure that manufacturing is one of the greenest sectors of the economy.
Wind farms: Power-related investments in Asia, U.S.
–  Control Engineering News Desk
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