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FarmConners - Paving the Way for Wind Farm Control in Industry

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - FarmConners (FarmConners - Paving the Way for Wind Farm Control in Industry)

Reporting period: 2019-09-01 to 2020-08-31

A large modern wind farm is not just a collection of autonomous wind turbines. It is a wind power plant (WPP), feeding increasingly large amounts of power into the electricity grid. It is also a highly complex physical system where all the turbines actively interact with each other. Wind Farm Control (WFC) investigates this interaction for a collaborative operation within the wind farm, and the concept has been around for more than two decades. The promise of WFC is that through this cooperative behaviour of the wind turbines, the wind field can be influenced to increase power production and reduce loads, i.e. extend the lifetime. Additionally, it enables better integration of wind power to the grid and improved revenue management, especially for the upcoming flexible electricity markets. WFC technology helps making wind power “market fit”, which in turn decreases the project cost and increases the share of the leading green power source.
The FarmConners project supports the implementation and industrialisation of WFC as an additional feature for the development and operation of wind power plants. It provides a unique platform for the marketability of this feature; bringing the state-of-the-art achievements, ongoing projects and industrial interest together to remove barriers for commercial implementation of WFC. Hence, FarmConners aims to accelerate the industrialisation and commercialisation of WFC through the following 4 objectives

i. Increase confidence in the models and control strategies through a comprehensive validation platform for WFC
Careful validation of the modelling and control actions is of vital importance to build confidence in the value of coordinated WFC. The efficiency of flow models applied to WFC should be evaluated to provide reliable assessment of the performance of WFC.

ii. Clarify and develop guidelines for certification, standardization and regularization of WFC as a product
Similar to many other innovations in wind energy, there exist many uncertainties around the certification, standardization and regularization of WFC.

iii. Showcase of WFC in various electricity market scenarios; compliance and revenue
WFC is beneficial not only for a more intelligent ancillary service provision, but also for a better revenue management, especially for the flexible market scenarios of the (near) future.

iv. Align the EU level activities and increase cross-border coordination of national research in WFC for higher impact
WFC is an increasingly popular research field with many ongoing projects which yields several opportunities for further collaboration. Having all the project coordinators on board, FarmConners facilitates the alignment of the EU level interest in WFC and maximize the impact. Furthermore, it brings the experience of the national activities on WFC research on a unique platform to strengthen the implementation.
The main results from the reporting period are here summarised per objective

i. Increase confidence in the models and control strategies through a comprehensive validation platform for WFC
Within the FarmConners consortium, with all the WFC stakeholders on board, first the research gap analysis in WFC test and validation is assessed and published as open access article “Expert Elicitation on Wind Farm Control”. Following the assessment, a consensus on the common test cases is achieved. Accordingly, FarmConners launched a common benchmark for code comparison to demonstrate the potential benefits of WFC, such as increased power production and mitigation of loads. The benchmark builds on available data sets from previous and ongoing campaigns: synthetic data from high-fidelity simulations, measurements from wind tunnel experiments, and field data from a real wind farm. The guidelines for participation in the benchmark, as well as the description of datasets and test cases are thoroughly prepared and disseminated on many channels (a webinar, a collaborative online documentation, a poster presentation and an open access paper) to reach as many participants as possible.

ii. Clarify and develop guidelines for certification, standardization and regularization of WFC as a product
The uncertainties around the certification, standardization and regularization of WFC have been clarified and quantified in the “Position paper on certification, standardisation, and other regulatory issues of Wind Farm Control”, which is the first of its kind.

iii. Showcase of WFC in various electricity market scenarios; compliance and revenue
In order to demonstrate the added value of WFC, FarmConners have introduced a series of showcases consisting of a large reference offshore wind power plant, weather simulation data and estimated electricity prices for both 2020 and 2030. They will be presented in upcoming Wind Integration Workshop (11-12 Nov 2020) together with a corresponding publication. These open access scenarios enable the WFC community to evaluate the performance of their control algorithms using an internationally recognised tool.

iv. Align the EU level activities and increase cross-border coordination of national research in WFC for higher impact
To strengthen the cooperation and the knowledge transfer, FarmConners introduced a mobility scheme which enhances the researcher mobility to ensure effective execution of the project activities.
Many of the progress beyond the state of the art so far is listed in the section above with the main results achieved during the reporting period. The expected results in the second half of the project are summarised per FarmConners objectives below

i. Increase confidence in the models and control strategies through a comprehensive validation platform for WFC
The outcome of the FarmConners benchmark will be assessed in the final period reporting. With all the diverse tools, models and control strategies applied, it will provide a unique overview on the state-of-the-art of the WFC approaches. It will clearly show the trends and the accuracy levels of the technology, as well as where the uncertainty lies and how to improve the technology further.

ii. Clarify and develop guidelines for certification, standardization and regularization of WFC as a product
Within the next reporting period, the learnings will be combined with recommendations for improved certification, standardization and regularization of WFC and sent as a journal publication to reach a wider audience. Clarify and develop guidelines for certification, standardization and regularization of WFC as a product.

iii. Showcase of WFC in various electricity market scenarios; compliance and revenue
To reach to an even wider audience and maximise the impact, potential value of wind farm flow control for market integration is discussed in a journal publication. Its novelty originates from its multi-disciplinary assessment and it will serve to close the gap further between the various fields within the WFC technology: flow modelling, control systems, grid integration and market analysis. It will be sent out for publication in the next reporting period.

iv. Align the EU level activities and increase cross-border coordination of national research in WFC for higher impact
Before the COVID-19 regulations on physical mobility across Europe, FarmConners has facilitated one mobility between 2 partnering organisations with high benefit and is therefore eager to increase these activities after the restrictions are lifted.
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