R&D installs first 66 kV Fault Ride Through test system

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Danish offshore wind turbine test expert R&D Test Systems has installed the world’s first Fault Ride Through (FRT) test system rated at 66 kV for the Østerild test facility for wind turbines in Denmark.

The system has been developed for the wind-turbine manufacturer to conduct extreme voltage tests to ensure its turbines meet international standards required for connection to electric grids. R&D Test Systems designed the new system to meet Vestas’ specific testing requirements following the installation of a large prototype turbine at the Østerild test site in Denmark, the National Test Centre for Large Wind Turbines operated by the Danish Technical University (DTU).

With the next generation of offshore wind turbines set to become bigger, with associated increases in power output, wind farms are using higher voltages to achieve efficient power transmission through the long cables required to bring the power generated ashore. The new R&D FRT test system now allows turbines to be tested directly at the operating voltage of 66 kV, avoiding any set-down transformer converting the test setup to 33 kV.

The point of FRT testing is to prove that wind turbines are resilient to grid power quality issues such as when power transmission cables are damaged in a storm. The test is designed to ensure that the generating units, increasingly located out at sea, do not fail due to voltage variations in the power transmission network — a scenario that could lead to costly downtime, maintenance, and in extreme situations, power outages.

R&D designed the 66 kV FRT system to cope with the varying grid standards within Germany, Spain, the United States, and Canada to guarantee it can ensure compliance with different international grid standards.

More info www.rd-as.com