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Tecnalia. Inspiring Business

Tecnalia. Inspiring Business

A plug-and-play grid for the transmission of large amounts of offshore energy

2018.09.19

The deployment of cost competitive offshore wind energy farms requires the transmission of large amounts of energy towards the coast.

Thornton-Wind-Farm

Among the multiple challenges faced by this energy transmission the interoperability of the different technologies provided by multiple vendors poses indeed a particularly compelling one: How can we preserve the overall offshore system stability (and thus avoid costly interruptions) under a scenario in which the vendors’ HVDC controllers are unavailable for the analysis due to confidentiality agreements?

To overcome this obstacle, most of the control efforts stemming from the IDeCON researchers have been oriented to prove that designing a grid with a plug-and-play philosophy is possible. Such that the overall system stability is guaranteed even in a scenario where control information is not shared among the vendors. This is indeed, a paradigm shift with respect to how conventional controllers have been designed so far. It would also mean that most of the industrial controllers would need to be revisited to include these plug-and-play features, which would avoid system collapses.

Although there is still a long way to go to be able to  include these features in the electrical grid codes, the initial results seem promising. The IDeCON researchers believe that it is a step in the right direction towards the transport of a clean and uninterrupted offshore power to the mainland grids.

The IDeCON consortium,led by Prof. Elisabetta Tedeschi from NTNU, aims to create technical knowledge to help overcome existing barriers hindering the transmission of large amounts of offshore energy towards the coast.

The IDeCON consortium is formed by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Tecnalia Research and Innovation, the University of Nottingham and DNV GL. It is currently in its second year of conducting research in the area of design and control of high voltage direct current (HVDC) grids.


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