The Switch, a Finland-based supplier of permanent magnet generator (PMG) and full-power converter (FPC) packages, recently announced that its first 5-MW high-speed drivetrains installed in the field in China for CSIC (Chongqing) Haizhuang Windpower Equipment Co., Ltd (HZ Windpower), a Chinese wind power equipment manufacturer, are now successfully operating. The turbines operate continuously at 5 MW, the highest power rate so far for The Switch.
The new Haizhuang PMG5000 generators and FPC5000 converters have been designed especially for Haizhuang by integrating the latest technology and the 6 GW real-life wind power field experience of The Switch. The optimized drivetrains, known as The Switch Drive, represent the highest power range that The Switch has commissioned to date. During testing phase, the generators and converters fulfilled all performance requirements.
The Switch PMGs and FPCs have been appropriately adopted to operate reliably in the harsh offshore environment for which they were specifically developed. The converter is installed inside the tower’s base floor, which is about 12 meters above sea level; the generator is installed in the nacelle.
Compared with a traditional double-fed induction generator (DFIG) drivetrain, The Switch PMG technology offers a higher annual energy production (AEP) rate and lower operations and maintenance costs. This makes it a more ideal solution for offshore use, where maintenance costs are much higher than with onshore applications.
Moreover, The Switch FPCs comply with all the latest international grid code requirements, even the latest Chinese regulations. They ensure low flicker, minimum electrical noise emission and a THD of <1.5%, guaranteeing that high electricity quality is fed into the grid.
In total, two The Switch Drive prototypes are now both installed in turbines situated in tidelands, which proved to be quite challenging due to the fluctuating tides. At high tide, the site was covered with water, making the installation exactly like an offshore site. Installation teams could then only move to the turbine by boat. When the tide was low, the teams used small tractor-like vehicles to access the site. When the water was not high enough for a boat or low enough for the vehicles, the teams simply had to wait. Tide levels at the site reach peaks twice per day; the highest peak tide level happens only once a month.
Filed Under: Gearboxes, Generators, News, Offshore wind, Projects