Siemens (NYSE: SI) has launched a new direct-current technology that simplifies the connection of offshore wind power plants to the grid.
In contrast to the large central converter platforms conventionally used in the industry, Siemen’s innovation utilizes a much smaller platform to house its transmission technology, as reported on the Power Technology website. It can sequentially connect multiple smaller platforms in a wind farm, routing them to an onshore transformer substation.
The compact design of the new solution makes possible the use of encapsulated high-voltage electrical equipment like diode rectifier units (DRU), instead of the more common air-insulated transistor modules. These DRU have a transmission capacity of 200 MW and serve as the core of the new transmission technology, alongside the transformer, smoothing reactor, and rectifier.
The innovation is module and flexible, and reduces the volume of platform structures by 80 percent. Weight is also reduced by 66 percent. Additionally, the innovation increases transmission capacity by 33 percent and reduces transmission loss by 20 percent.
Jan Mrosik, Siemens Energy Management Division CEO, said, “Our new solution will play a major role in decreasing the cost of offshore wind power below ten cents per kilowatt hour by 2020.”
German Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy (BMWi) is financing the new Siemens technology as part of the government’s sixth energy research program under project sponsor Jülich.