Establishment of the HLE research group "High power electronics of wind turbines"
The high development speed of today's multi-megawatt wind turbines means that there can hardly be any long-term experience in terms of technical reliability during continuous power generation over the entire lifetime. Their global distribution leads to increasingly diverse and, as a result, challenging environmental conditions for the power electronics used. At the same time, cost pressure leads to a minimisation of the system air conditioning, so that the electronics are not only exposed to different load profiles, but also to changing climatic conditions. The main task of the ERDF-funded research group "High-performance electronics of wind turbines" is to investigate multimodal loads by researching the interactions between electrical, mechanical and climatic profiles. In the new competence centre, power electronic components and their behaviour based on field experience and in the entire range from individual component tests to tests with complete converters were carried out and analysed for four years. Predicting the effect of multimodal loads during the development phase is of great importance for the lifetime of components and for avoiding field failures and thus for long-term product success.
The importance of the laboratory facilities for practical reliability tests that have been created within the project can already be seen today in the demand from companies for simulation models, load measurements, further research and development cooperation and concrete investigations in the HiPE-LAB. In particular, the research group’s expertise in taking a holistic view of the areas of power electronic components, converter technology and control technology, from components to circuit modules to test benches for practical investigations of dynamic loads that the electronic components of wind turbines have to endure, comes into play here. With modern analysis and measurement systems for determining the component characteristics and by simulating component simulations, important insights can be gained both for increasing the lifetime and for increasing the efficiency of the power components.