Germans Developing Grid Simulator for 20MW Wind Turbines

German research institute Fraunhofer IWES is developing a mobile grid simulator that will allow the testing and optimization of the grid compatibility of very large wind turbines with an output of up to 20MW.

Fraunhofer IWES

As a mobile test facility, the “Mobil-Grid-CoP” grid simulator will serve to verify current and future grid system services as well as electrical properties of a wind turbine.

Future turbine sizes, especially offshore, demand an output in excess of 15MW, which cannot be provided by today’s test benches, the research institute said.

In the future, the new mobile grid simulator will be able to simulate various grid connection points and dynamic grid events for this testing prototypes directly in the field. In addition to grid errors, the mobile test facility to be developed will also allow testing of dynamic frequency changes to analyze the supply of active power from the turbine and examine the effects thereof on the overall system. It will also be possible to simulate future requirements such as blackouts in order to test the grid restoration capacity of power grids.

“In Mobil-Grid-CoP, Fraunhofer IWES is developing the world’s largest grid simulator with an output of 80 MVA. For one thing, this can be integrated seamlessly into our existing DyNaLab (Dynamic Nacelle Testing Laboratory) test structure and, for another, it can be used in the open field. Furthermore, it will also be able to be connected to the planned hydrogen test field”, said Prof. Jan Wenske, Deputy Head of the Institute and Technical Director of Fraunhofer IWES.

To mark the launch of the project, Fraunhofer IWES presented the “Mobil-Grid-CoP” to an international industrial circle.

“The mobile grid simulator will be connected directly to the grid connection point at a test site. The 80 MVA grid simulator enables the testing of objects up to an output of 20 MW, meaning that even entire wind farms and strings can be measured. Furthermore, active disturbance analysis during operation on the grid is possible,” said Gesa Quistorf, project manager at Fraunhofer IWES.

The project will run for three years. The commissioning is planned for fall 2022.

Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) is financing this research project to the tune of EUR 12.7 million.