Troubleshooting continues

Wednesday, 8 October, 2014 - 09:15
The offshore converter BorWin alpha has been running again since the end of September, but the cause of the harmonics has not yet been found. (Photo: ABB)
The offshore converter BorWin alpha has been running again since the end of September, but the cause of the harmonics has not yet been found. (Photo: ABB)

The converter platform BorWin alpha has been back on the grid since 23 September. The world's first high-voltage direct current transmission system for an offshore wind farm was shut down for months due to technical problems. However, the grid operator TenneT has not found the error yet.

The wind farm Bard Offshore 1 is connected to the converter, which was built by ABB AG and has a transmission capacity of 400 MW. After maintenance work, which took over three months to complete, as well as a fire that occurred in March this year, the platform was temporarily reconnected to the grid in June. Shortly thereafter, it had to be shut down again due to harmonic currents.

The search for the source of the electrical fault has not yet yielded any results. The best professionals of TenneT, Bard and ABB, as well as external specialists, have been working on the problem. "There are many possible causes for the error, which may lie in any of the conceivable interactions within the entire system, ranging from the wind turbines to the platform. As yet, we still cannot say for certain what the cause or causal chain for the malfunction was," says Wilfried Breuer, member of the board at TenneT Offshore GmbH, remaining vague.

The failure not only increases the loss of income from Bard Offshore 1 to a three-digit million euro sum, it also has the rest of the industry worrying. The question arises whether this is a specific problem in the grid connection or the transmission technology. TenneT is now putting four further converters into trial operation. There have been no problems with these installations so far.

Torsten Thomas

Similar Entries

Husum Wind 2019: New concept for the fair

Following WindEnergy Hamburg, the industry is now looking expectantly towards Husum, where Husum Wind, the leading national wind trade fair will be held from 10 to 13 September 2019.

Schaeffler and ZF use jointly developed expert models to analyze and predict the condition of wind turbine gearboxes based on the actual loads that occur during operation

ZF Friedrichshafen and Schaeffler are collaborating to develop new solutions for predicting the operating life of wind turbine gearbox components based on the actual loads that occur during operation. Since September, the first wind turbine gearboxes equipped with sensors and condition monitoring systems have been supplying operating data to a cloud-to-cloud solution to enable this to happen.

The last three monopiles are loaded onto the barge in Rostock (pict.: EEW SPC/Van Oord)

On the evening of 19 December, 2018, EEW Special Pipe Constructions GmbH loaded the last three monopiles for the German offshore wind project Deutsche Bucht in the Rostock port.

(Source: ResearchMoz Global Pvt. Ltd.)

The environmental regulatory pressure for reducing the emission of harmful substances from fossil fuel based energy resources is further expected to push the stake holders, either government or private entities, to opt for offshore wind energy sources, in their respective regions.