Published on August 27th, 2015 | by Joshua S Hill4
Siemens Develops New Offshore Wind Power Transformer
August 27th, 2015 by Joshua S Hill
Siemens’ new AC power connection module should cut costs for near-shore wind farms by up to 40%.
Siemens has developed a new AC power connection module — the offshore transformer module — built specifically for a variety of manufacturers’ near-shore wind turbines, which the energy giant expects to cut the cost of accessing the grid for such installations by as much as 40% — with the downstream benefit being that the cost of offshore wind farms are subsequently cheaper as well.
Traditionally, AC transformers — which transmit the electricity generated by wind farms to the mainland at higher voltages via subsea cables — required separate and enormous platforms that could weigh anywhere between 1,800 and 4,000 metric tonnes, but Siemens’ new module can be mounted directly on to the foundation of an existing wind turbine. Small and lightweight in design, the module not only subsequently cuts down on materials, time expenditure, and risk — and therefore tens, and sometimes hundreds of millions of dollars and Euros in building, transporting, assembling, operating, and maintenance — but is also reliant upon a biodegradable insulating fluid which makes the module environmentally friendly as well.
As can be seen above, instead of requiring entirely separate platform-based substations, small grids of turbines can be reliant upon a single new AC grid access module. At only 30 by 15 meters, the new modules weigh in at only 630 metric tonnes for an output of 250 MW — and in order to reach the transmission capacity required in larger wind farms, the modules can be linked to one another to better bear the load.