System level multi-physics power hardware in the loop testing for wind energy converters

Helmedag, Alexander; Monti, Antonello (Thesis advisor); de Doncker, Rik W. (Thesis advisor)

1. Aufl.. - Aachen : E.ON Energy Research Center, RWTH Aachen University (2015, 2015)
Book, Dissertation / PhD Thesis

In: E.On Energy Research Center / ACS, Automation of Complex Power Systems 29
Page(s)/Article-Nr.: VIII, 222 S. : Ill., graph. Darst.

Zugl.: Aachen, Techn. Hochsch., Diss., 2015


This dissertation embraces the development and the realization of a 1-MW Multi-PhysicsPower Hardware in the Loop setup for the testing of wind energy converter nacelles at RWTH Aachen University. Moreover, results from the commissioning and the first testphase of the installation are depicted. The background of wind energy in general, the current conditions of legislative regulations, and the state of the art technologies in use forwind energy converters are included in this research study. In addition, the change of theelectrical power grid due to the increasing share of renewable power generation is illustrated and suggestions which currently are discussed for addressing the resultingproblems in grid operation are presented.This study characterizes the advantages and technical aspects of Hardware in the Loopi nvestigation with focus on Multi-Physics Power Hardware in the Loop. Furthermore, its use for the certification and testing of wind turbine nacelles with emphasis on test-benchbasedexamination of nacelles is delineated. Examples of interfaces for power-level Hardware in the Loop testing are given. Firstly, a flexible interface solution for the testing of components at household power levels is introduced that has been developed at the Institute ACS. Secondly, the challenges of power-level interfaces for high power test benches are depicted. Moreover, the 1-MW system-level nacelle test bench is outlined including an exposition of the involved technologies regarding the electrical as well as the mechanical and signal level domain. The test bench setup is compared to other ground-level wind turbine testing installations and the characteristics of the different approaches are evaluated. An experimental verification of the test bench completes the description of the setup. The results are analyzed and discussed. Based on the outcomes of this dissertation the method of investigating nacelles of wind energy converters on system-level test benches has been proven advantageous. In particular, the use of power-converter-based voltage breakdown generation in combination with the realization of a multi-physics power-level Hardware in the Loop setup yields superior outcomes. It is demonstrated that investigations on the implemented test bench are deterministic, repeatable, time-invariant, and high-loadcapable.