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Title: Active power control response from large offshore wind farms
Author: Banham-Hall, Dominic
Awarding Body: Brunel University
Current Institution: Brunel University
Date of Award: 2012
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The GB power system will see huge growth in transmission connected wind farms over the next decade, driven by European clean energy targets. The majority of the UK’s wind development is likely to be offshore and many of these wind farms will be interfaced to the grid through power converters. This will lead to a loss of intrinsic inertia and an increasing challenge for the system operator to keep grid frequency stable. Given this challenge, there is increasing interest in understanding the capabilities of converter control systems to provide a synthesised response to grid transients. It is interesting to consider whether this response should be demanded of wind turbines, with a consequential reduction in their output, or if advanced energy storage can provide a viable solution. In order to investigate how large offshore wind farms could contribute to securing the power system, wind turbine and wind farm models have been developed. These have been used to design a patented method of protecting permanent magnet generator’s converters under grid faults. Furthermore, these models have enabled investigation of methods by which a wind turbine can provide inertial and frequency response. Conventionally inertial response relies on the derivative of a filtered measurement of system frequency; this introduces either noise, delay or both. This research proposes alternative methods, without these shortcomings, which are shown to have fast response. Overall, wind farms are shown to be technically capable of providing both high and low frequency response; however, holding reserves for low frequency response inevitably requires spilling wind. Wind’s intermittency and full output operation are in tension with the need of the power system for reliable frequency response reserves. This means that whilst wind farms can meet the technical requirements to hold reserves, they bid uncompetitive prices in the market. This research shows that frequency response market prices are likely to rise in future suggesting that the Vanadium Redox Flow Battery is one technology which could enter this market and also complement wind power. Novel control incorporating fuzzy logic to manage the battery is developed to allow a hybrid wind and storage system to aggregate the benefits of frequency response and daily price arbitrage. However, the research finds that the costs of smoothing wind power output are a burden on the store’s revenue, leading to a method of optimising the combined response from an energy store and generator that is the subject of a patent application. Furthermore, whilst positive present value may be derived from this application, the long payback periods do not represent attractive investments without a small storage subsidy.
Supervisor: Taylor, G.; Irving, M. Sponsor: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) ; GE Energy
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Frequency response ; Inertia ; Energy storage ; Power converters ; Flow battery