Development of a concept for an Asset Connection Box (similar to a Remote Terminal Unit – RTU) for Wind Power Plants

Projektnummer 366

Status reports about the conditions of wind power plants are continuously recorded and stored with the aid of SCADA systems. It is e.g. possible to remotely control wind power plants via a standard internet browser and to retrieve different plant conditions and reports. Electrical and mechanical data, operating and alarm message as well as meteorological and network data can be displayed. However, the wind power plant manufacturers often use their own systems that are mostly not compatible. Besides, different systems are offered on the market.

Even Ethernet is the physical layer for data connections, the used protocols may challenge owners in connecting to the farms. This will become a real challenge when wind farms become bigger and bigger because now it is not only the wind farm SCADA but also other data sources which become very important like substation SCADA, fiscal meters, door access systems, bird radar, people tracking systems, IP-Cams, etc.

The growing complexity of interfaces within a classic wind park is asking for higher computation power within the interface because the data output is growing very fast but the data bandwidth is limited.

But not only higher computation power is important, also the reliability of the data interface is a key when wind farms are connected to the whole sale market as owners need access to the generation data for 24h on 7 days. A standard wall wart delivered with modem or router will become a major operational risk.

The scheduled project will define and develop a common hardware which includes all components necessary to connect to wind farm- and substation SCADA, fiscal meter or other Ethernet based devices within an asset. The device should have a watchdog to restart parts of the system or the whole system when functionality or connectivity has been lost. Also a remote diagnostic and remote control for this device should be implemented as many wind farms are not reachable in winter times because of the hard weather conditions.

Within this research project an approach regarding service and operation of the wind farm networks will be developed to guarantee 24/7 support for various WAN networks including concepts how to handle operation and maintenance.

The members of the European Working Group “Wind Energy” have explicitly expressed that there is a need for common hardware platform to harmonize the data output of the different SCADA systems.

The project is supervised by the VGB-European Working Group “Wind Energy”.