Driven by multiple factors such as technological and industrial development and favorable policies, the offshore wind power sector has become an attractive investment target. Comparing with onshore wind power projects, the offshore wind power projects have shorter period for investment return and are more environment-friendly, which have lead to an influx of capital from both power generators and enterprises in other industries. However, it is undeniable that the special marine conditions have put forward higher safety and reliability requirements for the backup power of wind turbines. According to the application engineers from SPS, a leading international ultra capacitor manufacturer, the ultracapacitor has the following advantages in the application to offshore wind turbines:
1． Instant release of high power
The average wind speed at sea is about 20% higher than that on land, and the electric power of the wind turbine varies with the cube of the wind speed, so the power of the offshore wind turbine is generally larger. At present, the 5MW model wind fan has been proved to have the best performance at sea, and the 7.5MW, 8MW, 10MW models for offshore usage are still in R&D stage. By contrast, the turbine power of 3MW is normally considered to be high-power for onshore.
The higher the electric power of the wind turbine, the larger instant power it requires from its back-up power supply. When facing storms and huge waves, it requires higher power to drive the turbine system back to a safe position. To meet this demand, ultra capacitors with high power density are able to release instant high power to drive the wind turbine. This is the biggest advantage of ultra capacitor over storage battery.
2.Suitable to the marine environment
The air is moist and salty over the sea, all the parts are prone to corrosion. SPS always follows a strict procedure in every aspects of the ultra capacitor module manufacturing process such as material selection, structure design, coating and anti corrosion, and has conducted very rigid tests for salt fog and rain, to ensure the product quality and guarantee a sustained and stable operation. As a result, its products have excellent performance in the environment of high humidity, heat and salt fog, and are applicable to wind farms under various extreme environment.
3.Lower cost over longer life cycle
The average life cycle of supercapacitor under normal working condition is about 10 years, and it can reliably perform 1 million cycles of charging and discharging , which is far more than the service life from 2 to 4 years for storage batteries. If we look through its entire life cycle, a capacitor has a higher initial cost, but it can work normally in a wide range of temperature from – 40 ℃ ~ 65 ℃, especially in the extreme temperature conditions, it remains stable and reliable, and is maintenance-free over the whole life cycle. On the contrary, battery requires extra heating and refrigeration system in a working temperature beyond the range of 20 ℃~ 60 ℃, and also need a tremendous maintenance and replacement costs. In the service life of offshore wind power for up to 25 years, it will save a lot of time and money to choose ultra capacitor as back-up power, as well as reduce the risk and enjoy a higher cost performance.
At present, all the wind turbines used in offshore wind farms around the world are transformed from onshore wind turbines, and the excellent performance of ultra capacitors in onshore wind turbines has been recognized by project owners and wind power operators. In view of the special environment on the sea, the unique advantages of ultra capacitors will be fully demonstrated. In conclusion, the application of ultra capacitor to offshore turbine system will have obvious advantages.
Supreme Power Solutions Co., Ltd. (SPS) is a leading manufacturer of ultracapacitors, as well as a provider of ultracapacitor energy storage systems and technological solutions. Our products have wide industry applications, such as new energy vehicles, wind turbines pitching control systems, trams and subways, smart grid, micro grid, heavy duty machineries, intelligent instrument, etc. We support more than 200 customers, and our products are exported to 26 countries and territories.