Reliable Power Converters for Wind Turbines


Funding: Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK)
Partner: Bender, EnergieKontor, ForWind, Fraunhofer IWES, Infineon, RWE Renewables GmbH, Leibniz- Universität Hannover, Nordsee One, Universität Bremen, ConverterTec Deutschland GmbH, Senvion
Duration: 12/2018-11/2022


Power converters are among the most frequently failing components of wind turbines and are thus associated with high costs and long downtimes. A better understanding of the causes of their failure is vital in the race to develop effective protective measures and thus improve the profitability of turbine operation.

As part of the ReCoWind project, these questions will be systematically assessed. The main focus is on the power-semiconductor modules, their driver units as well as the DC-link components representing the core components of the converters. In view of results of previous investigations (download here), particular attention is paid to the influence of moisture. The information base is to be expanded using special measuring techniques which are being developed specifically by the partners and also tested on commercial components under realistic conditions.

It is hoped to improve the converter reliability, for example, with a more robust design, procedures for accelerated component testing, and improved concepts for operation and maintenance. On the basis of experimental investigations, damage models and models for calculation of the remaining service life are developed.

At the same time, comprehensive failure and operating data is evaluated and field measurements are carried out, e.g. in the wind farm Nordsee One with its 54 6 MW turbines. The findings will ultimately be used to derive recommendations with respect to design, instrumentation, operation and maintenance, which will be made available to the industry.