Engineering giant claims new control system will make it easier to integrate wind farms with the grid
Engineering giant General Electric (GE) last week unveiled new technologies designed to boost output from its wind turbines and make it easier to hook wind farms up to the grid.
The company's GE Energy division said its new WindInertia system would make it easier for wind projects to achieve a level of transmission reliability similar to that provided by traditional thermal power stations.
Minesh Shah, GE Energy Renewable Systems Platform Leader, explained that the upgraded control system and power electronics of the wind turbine provides the ability to extract the mechanical or inertial energy from the rotor "by applying additional torque to deliver a short term increase in electrical energy".
This use of mechanical inertia of the moving rotor would provide a short boost in power output of several seconds that would allow time for non-wind power generation to kick in at times when demand is outstripping supply.
The company said the system would work at a range of wind speeds, increasing a turbine's power output by five to 10 per cent over its rated level.
The control is now available for GE's 1.5MW wind turbine and the company said it would also be made available for its 2.5MW turbine from 2010.
The system was unveiled on the same day as GE also announced a new service designed to help developers optimise the layout of the wind farms.
The WindLayout service allows project developers to model the output from different layouts and locations, providing them with a report detailing locations that maximise energy production estimates and offering due diligence on separate wind resource assessments.
In related news, GE Water, a unit of GE Energy, announced it had inked a deal with the National University of Singapore to invest $100m in research projects designed to develop new solutions for low-energy seawater desalination, water reclamation and more efficient water reuse.