ABB has unveiled a new transformer technology that enables offshore wind turbines to operate at a world record voltage of 66 kV – twice the existing level of 33 kV.
According to a company release, the WindSTAR transformer – which can fit into the tower of a wind turbine, could significantly reduce losses and make the wind generation systems more efficient. It also brings lifecycle benefits and cost-efficiency gains.
As an initial success, ABB has delivered five new WindSTAR transformers to MHI Vestas Offshore Wind, to be deployed at the world’s first 66 kV offshore wind farm in the UK.
The Blyth Offshore Demonstrator (BOD) is a 41.5 megawatt (MW), five-turbine wind farm, located off the coast of Blyth in Northumberland, with the capacity to deliver clean power to 34,000 homes.
As a follow-up order, ABB will supply another 11 such transformers to be deployed in large-scale offshore wind turbines at the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre.
The offshore wind test and demonstration facility, is located about 2.4 km off the coast of Aberdeen Bay, will incorporate a 92.4-MW offshore wind power plant with capacity to meet the annual electricity demand of nearly 80,000 homes.
“ABB’s latest 66 kV WindSTAR transformers bear testimony to our spirit of pioneering innovation and commitment to customer focus” said Markus Heimbach, Managing Director of ABB’s Transformers business. “The development facilitates the integration of offshore wind energy bringing, clean power to the people and reinforcing our position as a partner of choice for enabling a stronger, smarter and greener grid.”
Image credits and excerpts: ABB