NWTC Controllable Grid Interface (Fact Sheet)

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NREL's Controllable Grid Interface tests wind turbines off-line from the grid, verifies compliance with standards, and provides grid operators with the performance information they need for a faction of the time and cost it would take to test the turbine in the field. To understand the behavior of wind turbines during grid disturbances, manufacturers and utility grid operators need to perform a series of tests and accurate transient simulation studies. The latest edition of the IEC 61400-21 standard describes methods for such tests that include low voltage ride-through (LVRT), active power set-point control, ramp rate limitations, and reactive power capability ... continued below

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2 p.

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Creator: Unknown. February 1, 2012.

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Description

NREL's Controllable Grid Interface tests wind turbines off-line from the grid, verifies compliance with standards, and provides grid operators with the performance information they need for a faction of the time and cost it would take to test the turbine in the field. To understand the behavior of wind turbines during grid disturbances, manufacturers and utility grid operators need to perform a series of tests and accurate transient simulation studies. The latest edition of the IEC 61400-21 standard describes methods for such tests that include low voltage ride-through (LVRT), active power set-point control, ramp rate limitations, and reactive power capability tests. The IEC methods are being widely adopted on both national and international levels by wind turbine manufacturers, certification authorities, and utilities. Utility operators also need to estimate how much power wind turbines might be able provide to help regulate grid frequency during situations when they need additional energy quickly, and after design modifications or changes are made to control software, manufacturers may be required to retest their turbines. But testing wind turbines in the field can be a lengthy and expensive process often requiring manufacturers and utility operators to send equipment and personnel to remote locations for long periods of time. NREL's National Wind Technology Center (NWTC) has developed a new Controllable Grid Interface (CGI) test system that can significantly reduce the time and cost required to conduct these tests. The CGI is first test facility in the United States that has fault simulation capabilities and allows manufacturers and system operators to conduct the tests required for certification in a controlled laboratory environment. It is the only system in the world that is fully integrated with two dynamometers and has the capacity to extend that integration to turbines in the field and to a matrix of electronic and mechanical storage devices, all of which are located within close proximity on the same site. NREL's 7.5 MVA CGI tests wind turbines off-line from the grid, verifies compliance with standards, and provides grid operators with the performance information they need for a fraction of the time and cost it would take to test the turbine in the field. The system combines hardware and real-time control software and is designed to operate with the NWTC's 2.5-MW dynamometer as well as the center's new 5-MW dynamometer test facilities. It is designed to work with four types of wind turbines, photovoltaic systems, and energy storage inverters. Results from the dynamometer tests can also be used to fine tune and validate the dynamic models used in integration studies and help industry improve turbine performance and develop test standards for renewable technologies and energy storage.

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2 p.

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  • Related Information: National Wind Technology Center (NWTC)

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  • Report No.: NREL/FS-5000-53800
  • Grant Number: AC36-08GO28308
  • DOI: 10.2172/1036372 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 1036372
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc835171

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Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

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Creation Date

  • February 1, 2012

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • May 19, 2016, 3:16 p.m.

Description Last Updated

  • April 4, 2017, 6:07 p.m.

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NWTC Controllable Grid Interface (Fact Sheet), report, February 1, 2012; Golden, Colorado. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc835171/: accessed April 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.