How curtailment (switching off) of wind energy production keeps the energy grid in balance
To keep the energy grid in balance, energy demand and supply must be continuously matched.
The demand for energy is determined by consumers and business users, while the amount of sun and wind dictate the supply. Sometimes, we get too much energy when the wind blows strong or the sun shines bright. If demand lags behind, the net will become out of balance.
In an ideal world, we would use or save all the green energy generated, but we’re not quite there yet. This is the reason why we have to “turn off” some of the solar and wind energy production. This necessary step is what we refer to as “curtailment”.
At Withthegrid, we’re on a mission to help energy generators to curtail in a smart and responsible way. To achieve this, we’ve developed a device called the Teleport, which we use to help several partners, including Enercon, navigate the path to smarter curtailment.
Shutting down (curtailing) a wind turbine by adjusting the blades
To reduce the power output of a wind turbine, a specific command, known as a control signal, is required. This signal is sent to an individual turbine or a group of turbines, causing them to adjust the angle of their blades to capture less or no wind. As a result, the production of electricity decreases. When it’s time for the turbine to return to full power, the reverse command is given, and the blades realign to face the wind directly. However, it’s important to note that there are mechanical limitations that restrict how quickly you can curtail the turbine’s operation.
Enercon is a well-known name in the world of onshore wind turbines, particularly in Europe. This originally German company held a significant market share, approximately 12%, in the onshore wind market across Europe in the year 2020.
The risks of a SCADA connection
To be able to curtail wind turbines effectively, you must be able to send control signals to the turbine in a reliable manner. Typically, this is achieved through the utilization of the existing SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) system. However, this approach, while effective, is not without its complexities and associated risks. One significant risk lies in the potential for the connection to drop during the curtailing process. In such cases, the turbine is left in the off position, and depending on the duration of the outage, this can result in substantial income losses.
The Teleport: Ensuring a Stable and Safe Connection with Wind Turbines
The Teleport, on the other hand, offers a different solution. While it maintains a physical connection to the SCADA system, it establishes a unique and highly secure connection. In this way, the control signal can be transmitted through the more familiar and robust process of a Rest JSON API, significantly reducing the risk of a curtailment command becoming unnecessarily prolonged.
Discover the Teleport, your solution for efficient wind turbine control.
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