Elevating the performance of wind power plants
June 2012, Electrical Power & Protection
As an alternative to fossil fuels, wind power is a plentiful, renewable, widely distributed, and clean energy producing no greenhouse gas emissions during operation. Due to these characteristics, it has become an important player in the world’s energy markets.
A large wind farm may consist of several hundred individual wind turbines which are connected to the electric power transmission network. Most wind farms are located in sparsely populated areas with harsh environments and only a few maintenance staff. Because of their location, the problem of ensuring the plant can be operated safely and reliably is an essential and very important issue.
An Advantech customer is one of five major power generation companies in China operating more than one hundred wind farms around the country. It plans to adopt the Wind Power Management System (WPMS) with robust hardware devices to monitor multiple power plants in real-time. The system not only needs to be able to be controlled remotely to supervise the power generation capacity of each power plant, but also to provide the data upload program to generate regular reports to help administrators analyse the availability of the wind turbines for electricity generation.
Because the turbines are strategically placed in isolated windy locations, the hardware needs to support a wide operating temperature range and provide protection against interference and the elements. In order to enhance long-distance transmission and data reliability, the network devices also need to support a fibre optic redundant ring backbone providing faster data transfer.
Advantech’s WPMS is based on an advanced and reliable platform – WebAccess – integrated with the customer’s local wind power system’s high voltage station supervision and video surveillance. Via a unified access interface real-time data is collected and sent to the control centre headquarters.
WebAccess is a web browser-based application for HMI and scada devices and has been written using a multi-threaded programming design. WPMS not only completes the data collection, storage, processing, configuration and condition monitoring to meet the customer’s cluster management needs, but also communicates with multiple power station systems to ensure the timeliness, accuracy and completeness of the data. Its comprehensive report generation module can produce detailed and tailored reports to assist users in optimising the productivity of power plants and the remote control feature enables the customer to access and monitor the wind power plant from anywhere.
As for the hardware devices, each wind turbine tower is equipped with an EKI-7554SI fibre-optic managed industrial Ethernet switch with wide temperature range and linked to the redundant ring via a single-mode optical fibre. The switch uses the proprietary X-ring redundant network protocol which provides users with an easy way of establishing a redundant Ethernet network with an ultra high-speed recovery time of less than 10 ms. Each of the wind turbine towers will connect to the EKI-4654R, a 24-port managed redundant industrial Ethernet switch at the control centre and transmit the data to an IPC-620 local server. The EKI-4654R has a long range voltage redundancy power input which provides a convenient and uninterrupted power supply to guarantee network safety.
All of these Advantech devices support a wide operating temperature range and are built with rugged design to meet customer needs. The Advantech X-ring networking topology can construct a reliable industrial network. Advantech also provides a durable and reliable touch panel computer to transmit the wind turbines’ data to the local wind power system via Ethernet.
Advantech’s WPMS is qualified to exceed customer expectations in respect of their distributed management needs for remote system control in real-time. The hardware devices with exclusive networking technology provide an efficient network infrastructure to connect hundreds of wind turbines to improve communication reliability and elevate the overall performance.
For more information contact Fons de Leeuw, Profitek, 086 165 4321, email@example.com, www.profiteksa.com