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Envision--FPGA-based Hardware-in-the-loop Testing for MW-Level Wind Turbine Converter Controllers

Application Abstract

This article introduces a hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) application for a power electronic controller (doubly-fed induction generator converter controller). The challenge of power electronics real-time simulation is that it requires a very small step size (one microsecond level). 

ModelingTech (info@modeling-tech.com, www.modeling-tech.com) leverages NI FPGA hardware to achieve such small step size real-time simulation and provide a HIL system to testing Envision Energy's real wind turbine converter controllers.


Envision Energy Introduction

Envision Energy is one of the biggest wind turbine vendors. Envision Energy’s 4 MW offshore turbine is specially designed for the offshore wind power. By applying its techniques, systems, and algorithms, along with its first-ever smart control techniques, advanced gauging techniques, specialized data analysis system, active performance controls, and decision algorithms for reliability, Envision Energy has improved the power generation rate of its turbine products by 20% compared to products of the same type, and has become the first choice for developing offshore wind power in China (above information is from Envision website www.envision-energy.net ).


HIL Requirements: Fault Test and Onsite Condition Reproduction

The R&D and Testing Departments of Envision want to use a HIL platform to simulate a double-fed induction generator (DFIG) system, so that they could test the operation of converter controller under various conditions, especially the power grid fault cases. On the other hand,  due to the fact that the operation of wind turbine system is greatly influenced by uncontrollable meteorological conditions, by using this HIL platform, the R&D and Testing Department could reproduce various on-site working conditions in the lab and test the operation of their wind turbine converter controller.  


DFIG System Introduction

Double-fed induction generator is a mainstream wind-turbine generator. The advantage of the DFIG system is that the power transferred through the power electronic converter is only a portion of the total wind turbine system power, this could lower the cost of the power electronic components.


The controller of DFIG controls a pair of back to back PWM converters to control the frequency and amplitude of the rotor voltage to achieve a variable speed constant frequency operation and active-reactive power decoupled control.


Co-Simulation of CPU and FPGA

Doubly-fed system is a power electronic system. Unlike the real-time simulation for traditional power grid system, the power electronic system contains fast switching components. In order to accurately simulate the power electronic system, a very small simulation step size (microsecond level) is required. ModelingTech leverages the FPGA technology to achieve the DFIG real-time simulation. The doubly-fed wind power system also includes power grid which is simulated on CPU. The whole system is a Co-Simulation of CPU and FPGA.


From the no-load excitation mode to the grid-connected mode

The DFIG models are different under different working conditions (before and after connecting the generator stator to the power grid, or no-load excitation model and grid-tied power generation mode). Most offline simulation tools only support grid-connected power generation model (the generator is modeled as the current source). StarSim is capable of emulating how the real system works (from no-load excitation mode to grid-tied power generation mode), this makes the real-time simulator be able to work with the real DFIG converter controller.


The picture below shows the no-load excitation mode simulation. The controller controls the rotor excitation current and enables DFIG to meet the grid connection condition (the amplitude, phase and frequency of stator voltage are as same as those of power grid). In the stator voltage waveform graph, the generator stator voltage(blue) is becoming gradually in line with the grid side voltage(red).


 


HIL Solution Based on StarSim FPGA and PXI Platform

The hardware-in-the-loop system diagram based on CPU and FPGA co-simulation is shown as below:





The field photos of DFIG HIL system is shown as below, one is the front view of the cabinet, the other is the rear view of the cabinet, the StarSim DFIG model is running on the PXI.  




the front view of the cabinet
the rear view of the cabinet




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