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Content archived on 2024-05-07

Design tool for prediction of flicker from wind turbines



The aim of the project is to develop and validate software to predict, at the design stage, the flicker produced by a wind turbine. Flicker is a term used to quantify rapid fluctuations in voltage experienced by consumers connected to electricity distribution systems. Wind turbines can produce greater power fluctuations than other forms of generation, and the resulting voltage fluctuations and flicker may become a serious limitation to wind generation on rural electricity systems.

The objectives of the project are:
- To develop a software design tool, compatible with existing wind turbine design packages, to predict flicker given the machine design parameters, for any specified wind conditions and network parameters;
- To validate the design tool against measurements on representative wind turbines;
- To investigate the difference in flicker between fixed speed machines and variable-speed stall-regulated machines, which have dynamic behaviour of particular importance for flicker.

Technical Approach

Initialy the best choice of generator models to provide sufficient accuracy and speed of simulation will be investigated. Models for variable-speed drives will also be investigated, for the particular case of variable-speed stall-regulated turbines. The best method to represent the external electricity network will be established.

Measurements of flicker will be made on two large wind turbines. The measurements will then be used to modify and validate models of the two turbines, including the generator and network models developed previously. The design software developed will be aimed at wind turbine designers and electricity utility engineers.

Expected Achievements and Exploitation

The work is intended to reduce the cost-of-energy from wind turbines, and reduce the risk of electricity consumer complaints. This will assist the realisation of the positive social economic and environmental benefits of wind generation.
A validated design tool will reduce the risk of design modifications to prototype wind turbines, and reduce the cost of testing. In future it may be possible to rely on the design tool predictions in place of testing. The conclusions reached in this work will be of direct relevance to the utilities and to the participating wind turbine manufacturers. The involvement of the utilities will be important in determining how best to disseminate the results to other utilities.
If satisfactory validation of the software is achieved, the next step would be investigation of the possibility of commercial exploitation.

Call for proposal

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EU contribution
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Saint Vincent Works, Silverthorne Lane
United Kingdom

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Participants (6)