Real-time Simulator for Wind Farms

  Copyright: RWTH Aachen Wind simulator structure

The goal of this project is to develop the hardware and software infrastructure for the real-time simulation of large wind farms, with particular reference to off-shore wind farms.

This capability can be used for research purpose, for example for the development of new control strategies, and for certification purpose, for example for testing real equipment prior deployment with Hardware In the Loop technology, or to assess the compliance of a wind farm with the grid code.

Thanks to use of parallel computing will be possible to analyze the whole wind farm at system level, checking its impact on the grid, and at same time have a detailed description of each tower down to the switching converter detail. In order to realize the simulation of such large system, with very different time scales, we plan to exploit the extensive parallel processing capability that we have. A dedicated DSP cluster, where each processor hosts the model on one component (e.g. a wind tower, the energy collector), will simulate the wind farm. Then, the wind farm is connected to the real-time grid simulator (RTDS) with a connecting model that represents the HVDC link between the off-shore wind farm and the mainland.

This infrastructure may be adapted in the future to the simulation of any other distributed energy resource, for example large photovoltaic installations, so we believe it can be considered a very critical contribution in the study of complex power systems.