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Case Study of Multiple-Vendor Reactive Power Control for Type III Wind Turbines


Wind generation plants frequently require some form of reactive power (VAR) compensation to meet operating requirements determined by transmission line interconnection entities or regional authorities. As new wind generation from different generator installations is added to an interconnection point, whether it is a new project or a new phase in an existing project, the need to coordinate VAR control becomes increasingly important.

Generator installations are also likely to incorporate equipment from different turbine and controller vendors, which can reinforce the need for a unified, interoperable VAR controller. This paper studies a project in which three geographically adjacent wind parks required a consolidated controller to efficiently coordinate each park to operate within the interconnecting utility’s guidelines. This analysis includes an exploration of the pitfalls encountered in connecting to and controlling type III, doubly-fed induction generators from multiple manufacturers. Project-specific design and implementation included interfacing the VAR controller to existing control systems, fine-tuning the proportional integral (PI) algorithm settings, and adding logic to account for unforeseen system dynamics to obtain a more robust controller. Coordinating the design process with several independent wind farm owners proved to be a challenge. The resulting VAR control system enables the coexistence of the three independent generating plants and illustrates the type of unified control that will be important for future expansions in wind generation.

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