Simulation of an offshore wind farm using fluid power for centralized electricity generation
A centralized approach for electricity generation within a wind farm is explored through the use of fluid power technology. This concept considers a new way of generation, collection and transmission of wind energy inside a wind farm, in which electrical conversion does not occur during any intermediate conversion step before the energy has reached the offshore central platform. A numerical model was developed to capture the relevant physics from the dynamic interaction between different turbines coupled to a common hydraulic network and controller. This paper presents a few examples of the time domain simulation results for a hypothetical hydraulic wind farm subject to turbulent wind conditions. The performance and operational parameters of individual turbines are compared with those of a reference wind farm based on conventional wind turbine generator technology using the same wind farm layout and environmental conditions. For the presented case studies, results indicate that the individual wind turbines are able to operate within operational limits. Despite the stochastic turbulent wind conditions and wake effects, the hydraulic wind farm is able to produce electricity with reasonable performance in both below and above rated conditions. With the current pressure control concept, a continuous operation of the hydraulic wind farm is shown including the full stop of one or more turbines.