An Update on the Electronic Connection Issues of Low Power SWTs in AC-Coupled Systems: A Review and Case Study

Rubén Bufanio, Luis Arribas, Javier de la Cruz, Timo Karlsson, Mariano Amadío, Andrés Enrique Zappa, Damián Marasco

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Small wind turbines (SWTs) have been a common option for rural electrification during recent decades. Recently, an application for connecting these devices to the grid was proposed. This requires an AC-coupled configuration, which brings the need for a power converter necessary for connection to the AC bus. This publication analyzes the requirements and commercial availability of such power converters, coming first to a conclusion on the lack of existing electronic power converters for SWTs, mainly in the lowest power range (<1 kW). As a result of this need, PV power converters were proposed, as they are both economically competitive and commercially available. The use of PV power converters for SWT AC-coupled applications is therefore analyzed as well, bringing a second conclusion: their use is possible but not straightforward, as some adaptations have to be taken into account. Finally, a suggested adaptation is proposed, in terms of hardware and software; the first field results of a prototype are presented, and they look very promising.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2082
JournalEnergies
Volume15
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2022
MoE publication typeA2 Review article in a scientific journal

Keywords

  • AC-coupled
  • Electronic power converter
  • Overvoltage protection
  • Prototype field test
  • Small wind turbine
  • Solar PV inverter

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