Strong constraints and very little feedback
The power substation is the orchestra conductor of an ORE farm. It recovers the current produced by the machines and then raises the voltage to allow it to be injected into the grid. In the case of future floating wind farms, which will be installed in deep waters (> 50 m), two options will be possible: subsea or floating. These options represent major challenges in terms of reliability, maintenance and cyber security, as there is very little feedback from experience in a marine environment in an ORE context. A collaborative project decided in favour of floating substations, as the reliability of onboard equipment would result in maintenance costs that would be too high for the subsea alternative (LISORE project). As the wind farm projects are moving rapidly away from the coast, the choice in the medium term of a switch to high voltage direct current will lead to a certain number of constraints linked to the design of the substations, but also to the whole farm. The increase in the power and size of offshore wind farms, as well as the need to make energy exports more reliable, will eventually require the presence of several substations, the location of which will have to be judiciously determined using digital optimisation tools..
Developing in-service monitoring strategies for floating substations
France Energies Marines, its members and partners have initially focused on in-service monitoring strategies for substations in order to reduce operating costs related to their reliability (LISORE and MOSISS projects). Work is currently focused on the development and demonstration of a comprehensive and innovative methodology for in-service monitoring of the electrical and structural condition of floating substations. This will be used to optimise available solutions, including sensors, inspections and equipment maintenance/repair. It is also planned to identify challenges for future technologies and to specify targets for the operation of new and existing components in the new floating environment to meet the substation availability rate.
Photo credit: StekrueBe
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