The UK’s Department of Trade and Industry has published its interim findings on possible technologies for integrating wind farms to the grid.
The study found that for cases of wind farms connected through AC submarine cables the performance at the point of connection depends mainly on the turbine technology, finding for example that AC connected fixed speed induction turbines cannot meet current requirements without further enhancement. However, dynamic reactive compensation devices have the potential to enhance the behaviour of the wind farm, especially for fault ride-through, reactive power and voltage control capability, the study finds.
In the case of a DC connection, the performance depends mostly on the inherent technical capabilities of the DC technology used.
The study assessed the capabilities of the major wind technologies in complying with the requirements set by the UK’s grid code, given that wind farms have generally been considered not to contribute to voltage or frequency support. For wind to become a substantial force, the study finds, the technical capabilities of wind farms need to be enhanced.
The report added that each combination of turbine technology and grid connection system has benefits and drawbacks depending on the size, technology, location and architecture of the wind farm.