Until now, offshore wind power plants have needed the support of conventional thermal or hydraulic power plants to restore the electricity system in the event of a power failure. With the increase of renewable energy plants – such as wind or solar – and the decrease of conventional plants, it is necessary for the former to be able to restore the electricity system autonomously. Furthermore, the new operating procedures developed by ENTSO-E (European Network of Transmission System Operators) have included this requirement which will have to be incorporated by the system operators in each country.
The joint research centre FETECH CENTRE, made up of staff from the Universitat Jaume I and the Universitat Politècnica de València, has developed a technological procedure that allows the autogenous or blackstart of an offshore wind generation plant, that is, the start of the plant without the support of an external electrical network. This technology is applicable in the case that the marine plant is connected to the land-based electricity network through a high voltage direct current (HVDC) line or link with multilevel modular converters (MMC) that convert the energy from alternating to direct current at the source and from direct to alternating at the end.
The research team has validated in detail the start-up procedure with optimal results. The implementation phase in wind farms or other types of plants would require the development of specific controls for the park’s converters and their testing in a pilot plant or simulation system. Therefore, work is being done on adapting the technology to electricity generation plants through specific agreements and subsequent licensing agreements.
The joint research centre FETECH CENTRE of the Universidad Politècnica de València and the Universitat Jaume I focuses its research on energy and energy systems. Its areas of work include the development of new systems and strategies to integrate renewable energy into current electrical energy structures with the aim of achieving an electrical system with nearly 100% renewable energy, generating clean energy, intelligent transport networks and efficient consumers concerned with making more rational use of energy.