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Wednesday, 12 March 2014
09:00 - 10:30 Advanced electrical systems: From megabyte to megawatt
Hardware Technology  

Room: Tramuntana
Session description

The electrical system is the most powerful and also the most sensitive system in a turbine, with small sensor faults often causing fault errors. It is also the most critical system, responsible for control of the machine, power shaping and power delivery. The session will show how electrical systems can be optimised in turbines, how they can be made more secure and robust, as well as looking at future trends for electrical systems.

Learning objectives

  • Get inside knowledge of future trends and technologies in electrical systems, including; generator, converter, control and communication systems
  • Learn about the interaction of electrical systems to turbine loads as well as mechanical systems and the grid
  • Discover and understand trends in grid connection requirements and their impact on electrical design
Lead Session Chair:
Björn Andresen, Siemens Wind Power, Denmark
Javier Chivite-Zabalza Ingeteam Power Technology, Spain
Javier Chivite-Zabalza (1) F P Igor Larrazabal (1) Ignacio Zubimendi (1) Sergio Aurtenetxea (1) Mikel Zabaleta (1)
(1) Ingeteam Power Technology, Zamudio (Bizkaia) , Spain

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Presenter's biography

Biographies are supplied directly by presenters at EWEA 2014 and are published here unedited

Javier Chivite-Zabalza received the B.Sc. Eng. degree in electrical and electronic engineering from Mondragon University, Mondragon, Spain, in 1993, the M.Sc. degree in power electronics and drives from the Universities of Birmingham and Nottingham, U.K., in 2003, and the Ph.D. degree from the University of Manchester, U.K., in 2006. Mr. Chivite-Zabalza has been working in the field of industrial automation and drives, high power-factor rectifiers for aerospace applications and in research on more electric concepts for autonomous aerospace power systems. In 2008, he joined Ingeteam Power Technology S.A., where he is currently the R&Di Technical Manager for Wind Power Conversion.


Multi-megawatt wind turbine converter configurations suitable for off-shore applications, combining 3-level neutral point clamped power electronic building blocks


The wind turbines are now widely-used as a cost effective source in the energy market
The number of wind turbines which composing a wind farm tends to decrease, whilst increasing the rated power in each one of them, especially in Off-shore locations.
There has been an increase of 750kW per unity installed up to 3MW at the end of the 1990s, or even to 5-10MW foreseen in the next few years.
To increase efficiency, the output voltage of the wind turbines is increasing, particularly in higher powers.


Two advanced wind turbine converter configurations are proposed, based in a newly developed family of 3.1 kV (3.3 kV), water-cooled, 3-Level Neutral Point Clamped (3L-NPC) inverter PEBBs, that use the latest 4.5 kV High Voltage IGBT technology.
They target a 6-8 MW Permanent Magnet Generator (PMG), Electrically Excited Synchronous Generator (EESG) or Induction (IG).

Main body of abstract

This paper presents two power converter configurations, suitable for an off-shore wind turbine in the range of 6 MW. These, which may either drive a Permanent Magnet Generator (PMG) or an Electrically Excited Synchronous Generator (EESG), are built combining a number of water-cooled, 3.1 kV, 3-Level Neutral Point Clamped (3L-NPC) Power Electronic Building Blocks (PEBB) that are based on High Voltage IGBTs (HV-IGBT). The first configuration employs two electrically isolated conversion lines, achieved by having two independent stator windings, where the converter outputs are connected in parallel at the grid side by means of two sets of line inductors. The second configuration employs a series connection, achieved by having open-end terminal connections, both at the machine and grid-side transformer. The paper begins by describing the PEBB modules. Then, the advanced converter configurations for wind turbines are explained, and some of the main features such as volume, weight, power density, scalability, grid code and Low Voltage Ride Through Compliancy and scalability, power quality of the output waveform and filter size, redundancy and efficiency are discussed. Subsequently, a comparison between the two solutions is carried out, mainly focusing on the converter voltage, rated power, power quality of the output waveform and filter size, redundancy and efficiency. This is followed by the main conclusions.


The series configuration presents some important advantages with respect to parallel configuration such as higher voltage levels and smaller grid filters (due to inherent harmonic cancellation) which makes the whole be slightly more efficient.
The redundancy and scalability features which are inherent in the parallel might be of interest for a wind-turbine offshore application where a fault in the power conversion system could involve a significant fall in the yearly's energy production.
The overall plant considering the parallel configuration is likely to cost less than in series configuration.
Both configurations are suitable candidates, each having its own advantages and disadvantages.

Learning objectives
Introduction to a new power converter family aimed for Medium Voltage Wind applications, using the latest High Voltage IGBT market technology.
Description of two possible configurations suitable for a Medium voltage off-shore application, considering key features such as volume, weight, power density, scalability, grid code and Low Voltage Ride Through Compliancy and scalability
Comparison of these solutions against power quality of the output waveform and filter size, redundancy and efficiency.