Siemens Introduces Grid Connection for Offshore Power Plants

Siemens Introduces Grid Connection for Offshore Power Plants

BREMERHAVEN — Siemens introduced a new solution for connecting offshore wind turbines to the grid. Presented at the National Maritime Conference in Bremerhaven, this direct-current technology enables a cost-efficient and simplified connection of offshore wind power plants far from the coast. The platform housing the transmission technology is much smaller and more compact than before. Until now, these plants have been connected to the grid via large central converter platforms. Siemens is now further developing the transmission technology, enabling a large number of much smaller platforms to be built. With the new solution, a direct-current cable can connect several of these platforms sequentially in a wind farm and then route them to an onshore transformer substation. Overall, this solution costs less and is also more efficient than the approach used with conventional platforms.

The compact design permits encapsulated high-voltage electrical equipment to be used – especially diode rectifier units (DRUs), which are installed instead of the usual air-insulated transistor modules. The system is also modular and flexible when it comes to installation. The volume of the platform structures is reduced by four-fifths, and the weight is cut by two-thirds. As a result, costs are reduced by more than 30 percent. At the same time, the new solution enables transmission capacity to be increased by one-third, while transmission losses fall by one-fifth. This is a significant step toward significantly reducing the cost of offshore wind power and making it competitive compared with conventionally generated electricity.

“Our new solution will play a major role in decreasing the cost of offshore wind power below ten cents per kilowatt hour by 2020. This is how we plan to make the direct-current technology used in Germany more interesting to other markets, too,” said Jan Mrosik, CEO of the Energy Management Division at Siemens.

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