Transformers for floating projects will increase offshore wind potential by enabling a new generation of floating substations and turbines, says Bruno Melles, Managing Director of the Transformers business at Hitachi ABB Power Grids
Hitachi ABB Power Grids has launched a portfolio of transformer products for offshore floating applications, designed to overcome the challenging offshore environment and withstand the physically demanding conditions on floating structures. The portfolio of transformers will be installed on floating offshore substations and floating wind turbines in deep waters, where traditional solutions are not feasible
The portfolio will enable much greater volumes of wind to be efficiently harvested and integrated into the global energy system, directly supporting the transition to a sustainable energy future.
Building offshore presents many challenges beyond the harsh saltwater environment. So far, only a small fraction of offshore potential has been exploited, as in many areas the seabed is not suitable and depths of 60 m are not feasible for fixed structures.
Floating substations and floating wind turbines offer a solution, which can be used in deeper waters, vastly increasing the available global capacity for developing offshore wind energy. Yet floating systems come with their own challenges: over their entire lifetime they are constantly in motion and can be exposed to vibrations and shocks from waves up to 15 meters in height.
'Our world-class engineers take pride in pioneering innovative solutions that overcome harsh offshore conditions and ultimately, help move society towards a sustainable energy future,' says Bruno Melles, Managing Director of the Transformers business at Hitachi ABB Power Grids.
'Floating electrical systems are an important development in the offshore renewable in-dustry that will open up tremendous opportunities for clean power,' he says.
The portfolio introduces a range of collector step-up transformers, earthing transformers and shunt reactors for floating substations plus wind turbine transformers for floating wind turbines, including the industry leading WindSTAR units.
Transformers and shunt reactors are key pieces of equipment in the grid infrastructure, enabling transmission of electricity generated by offshore windfarms. This complete and qualified equipment range, developed in partnership with leading floating offshore devel-opers, meets challenging operating requirements with a lightweight and modular design made up of specially designed active part, tank, tap changer, accessories and external components.