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Power Electronics and Wind Power GERTMAR Lars
Conversion from storable and non-storable energy sources into electrical energy is a major issue for the world. Fig. 1 shows one forecast [1] of sources for power generation, originating from a former oil company, Shell—today it calls itself an energy company and has entered wind power business. The diagram shows a clear trend, that renewable energy facilities like wind energy will be included in the long-term, future electrical power production, taking off 2000 to 2030. But wind is a non- storable, non-dispatched energy source, it needs priming into fungible1 electrical power and thus most likely common but moderate amounts of power electronics in its energy conversion schemes.
The diagram in Fig. 1 shows a forecast of a worldwide, all types, electric power generation, which can be measured as a factor of 3 from 2000 to 2030 and another factor of 3 from 2030 to 2060, in total a factor of 3 during 60 years. This means a coarse figure of ln(3)/60 - 1 0.0183, a growth of 1.8 % per year. Similar but shorter forecasts can be found, e.g., on [2].
The diagram in Fig. 1 shows also that wind energy will contribute with 2000 TWh/year in 2030 or 15 % of today’s energy. 2000 h/year is a coarse annual wind turbine operation time; it means that 1000 GW wind power should be installed before 2030 to compare with today’s traditional power
generation capacity amounting 3000 GW worldwide.
On the contents of the paper
The first section is a short introduction to energy sources for power generation and to electricity’s business and physical manifestations. Both business and physics are essential to get a basis for the next parts of the paper.
Quotes are culled from various sources that are rarely brought in front of the EPE audience but essential to evaluate in order to establish power electronic converters as efficient and reliable converters at suitable cost. Such quotes are given through almost all sections.
In the following paragraphs, overviews are there given of the wind power generation area and very briefly of power electronics for wind power, technically available today—intentionally excluding the general main circuits that are easily found elsewhere.
Large-scale renewable energy systems are thereafter covered together with other parts of distributed generation, mainly with aspects from a couple of power utilities point-of-view, in the following section of the paper.
Offshore wind power converters and their collection and transmission systems have been studied around the turn of the millennium. The works reviewed in this paper have mainly been carried out in various constellations at most parts of the North Sea (Nordmeer, Vesterhavet).
ABB’s role and objectives are described; as well as partnerships and activities in R&D; from sales of components to systems approaches. The intention is that renewable energy facilities will be utilised as supplementing electrical energy all over the world in regions with growing energy demands. This
1 fungible, adj. Law a) of goods or commodities; freely exchangeable for or replaceable by another of like nature or kind in the satisfaction of an obligation,
b) (of goods etc. contracted for, when an individual specimen is not meant) that can serve for, or be replaced by, another answering to the same definition American. Heritage Dictionary
c) “Fungible" comes from the Latin "fungibilis," which in turn came from the Latin phrase "fungi vice," meaning "to serve in place of."
EPE 2003 - Toulouse ISBN : 90-75815-07-7 P.2

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