Supercapacitors for Wind Power Applications

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Introduction

Wind Pitch Control systems dynamically adjust blade position relative to wind speed in order to maximize the efficiency for power generation and to minimize the effect of tower shadow. This pitch control also acts as safety feature for when wind speeds are too high or grid connection to the wind turbine is lost. In either case, the pitch control adjusts the blade position to neutral, acting as a break for the turbine system. The pitch control system in a wind turbine is located in the rotor hub and controls the rotor blades. Typically, at least two functioning systems are required to bring a wind turbine to rest. Generally power supply is located stationary inside the hub, and the energy storage for is located in the rotating assembly. For reliability and safety: turbine manufacturers rely on either hydraulic or electrical based pitch control systems. In recent years there has been a trend toward electrical pitch control systems due to environmental and maintenance concerns.

To ensure reliable and safe operation of the electrical pitch control systems, SPEL WP Series Supercapacitors provide the necessary backup power to orient the rotor blades in a fail-safe position in the event of a power loss.

Advantage of Using Supercapacitor for Wind Pitch Control

Reliability and Safety, requirement limits energy storage options, batteries require a significant structure to support them in rotation as well as insulation to stave off the effects of cold. Battery assisted system requires venting provision to remove hydrogen gas build-up from cycling, also moisture protection and Battery management systems for better service life. Supercapacitors scores over battery for this critical application as they are lightweight and nearly solid state devices. In cold weather the higher power capability of supercapacitors compared to batteries translates to faster response time for similarly designed systems. The transition from battery to supercapacitor based designs improves economics for wind farm operation. Due to longer life span (more than 10 years) and practically no maintenance required, the economics become more significant for offshore wind installations.

SPEL Wind Power Series WP016R158F for Wind Turbine pitch Control

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