Goldwind Builds a Real-time Digital Simulation Laboratory

Recently, Goldwind has built a real-time digital simulation laboratory. In the past, the grid connection verification tests on wind turbines were conducted at wind farms. Now, most of them can be done in the laboratory in a short time.

The environment at wind farms is usually harsh. Natural phenomena such as heavy rain, snow, high temperature, extreme cold, and lightning strike may pose a threat to the normal operation of the wind turbine. In order to minimize the impact of the natural environment, the wind turbine manufacturer performs the verification test on grid connection performance when developing a new wind turbine model or updating the control software. Before the digital simulation laboratory is applied, the test often needs to wait for the appropriate windy weather. Large-scale test equipment may even be required to simulate the disturbances and faults on the grid. The verification cycle is long and the inputs of manpower, material resources and financial resources are huge.

The real-time digital simulation laboratory invested and built by Goldwind connects the real wind turbine controller to the simulation scene of the test equipment. According to domestic and international standards in wind power industry and with the help of the accumulated fault database, the test equipment can simulate operating conditions of wind turbines or external grid faults, to assess whether the wind turbine control design is reasonable, whether the operation is stable, and whether the logic for dealing with the fault is accurate. This method can greatly shorten the traditional test cycle at the wind farm, and the onsite test time of more than 3 months has been shortened to the current one month.

“Walking into the laboratory, you can see two meters high cabinets arranged in a row,” said Qiao Yuan, deputy chief engineer of Goldwind, “some are digital simulation cabinets and the other ones form the wind turbine controller, these two kinds of cabinets are connected by data lines. The verification test on the new wind turbine model is underway and runs 24 hours a day. The verification results and test procedures are automatically recorded. Our R&D personnel trace the problems of the controller according to the verification records and optimize them in time. Problems that have been found will also be stored in the 'fault database' for reference in future R&D process to avoid recurrence."

After the new prototype verified by the laboratory is installed at the wind farm, 95% of the parameters can pass the grid connection test without modification. The onsite verification results that are inconsistent with the laboratory verification results will be recorded uniformly for reference in technology iteration, to improve the accuracy of the laboratory model.

According to Qiao Yuan, Goldwind’s newly developed wind turbine model and upgraded control software will be verified in the real-time digital simulation laboratory, and the verification cycle is about 7 days. At present, the laboratory is still undergoing an upgrade, it will realize intelligent verification in several months. After that, the verification report will be generated with one click, and the test cycle of one model will be shortened to about 3 days.

In the future, Goldwind will also cooperate with universities and scientific research institutions to promote this testing technology to the whole industry, thereby shortening the development cycle of wind turbines and making more contributions to the development of clean energy.