Capitalizing on Wind Fluctuation

What makes connecting a wind power system to a power grid extremely challenging is the wind direction and speed fluctuation. This makes wind turbine power generation unpredictable. Together with the wide divergence in customers’ power demands, a number of wind power plants wind up frittering away generated wind power and reducing the wind turbines’ service life via active control. Some power plants have to stop the operation of wind turbines completely in order to prevent any potential damage to the grid coming from fluctuation in supply.

Researchers came up with a new strategy in a paper published in the Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy of the American Physics Institute. It is a novel approach to optimizing power generation efficiency to better manage the operation of wind farms.

This novel approach is anchored on a constant calculation of the effect of fluctuating winds on the maximum generation capacity of each turbine. It also integrates dynamics not found in other wind farm control strategies such as tangible fluctuations in power generation capacity, varying power generation of each turbine, disruption in communication that prevents active control, inaccuracy of calculation, including turbines lacking in capacity for constant active control.

To illustrate the practicability of the new approach, the researchers matched up their calculations with raw data of one wind turbine. They then perfected their calculations and replicated a control process with data from a 33-turbine wind farm.

The outcome proposes that wind farms adopt the new approach to improve their power generation capability. But, the researchers advise that before employing the new plan or strategy, wind farm mangers need to adjust the basic parameters such as the frequency of adjusting wind turbines’ speed in accordance with local conditions.

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