Virtualization of test procedures for wind turbines via online services

Schematic overview of testing procedures for wind energy generation units Copyright: © PGS

The certification of the electrical characteristics of a wind turbine (WT) in the field is still a very time-consuming procedure, since it cannot be fully planned and therefore is cost-intensive. For example, the right wind conditions with a stable grid must be available at the time of testing, and the necessary personnel and test equipment must be available. The idea of virtualization of test procedures for wind turbines via online services (VirTuOS) is to replace parts of the overall system of the real wind turbine with real-time simulations of the missing components. This promises a reduction in the time required for testing, greater flexibility the possibility of reproducible tests and thus significant cost savings.

The establishment of novel test processes on component level for the development and certification process requires that the performed experiments allow valid and reliable statements about the properties of the tested WT. Especially for component test benches, the behavior of the WT is generated from the interaction of real-time simulations of the multiphysical drive train dynamics and the physical device under test (main converter of the WT) set up at the test bench.

In the research project VirTuOS and especially in the subproject of the Center for Wind Power Drives (CWD) of the RWTH Aachen University, a novel test procedure for converter component tests based on power hardware-in-the-loop systems will be developed and validated with respect to the suitability for the determination of the electrical characteristics according to FWG TR3.

In summary, the objectives of the VirTuOS research project are:
1. Construction and connection via online-services of an inverter-based component test bench
2. Derivation of minimum requirements for component test benches for testing the inverter system of wind turbines
3. Development of communication and control algorithms for the emulation of the WTG and grid behavior by hardware-in-the-loop (HiL) systems

Further research and project partners apart from the Center fro Wind Power Drives are:

  • dSpace GmbH
  • FGH e.V.
  • Enercon GmbH
  • R&D Test Systems
  • W2E Wind to Energy GmbH
  • conatys GmbH
  • FVA e.V.