Online engineering news magazine Ingenieur.de here writes how Germany’s largest offshore wind park, Bard 1, hasn’t delivered any power since March due to “baffling faults” in the power transmission system.
Germany’s largest offshore wind park hasn’t delivered any power since March…due to baffling technical problems. Photo: Bard
The sub-heading states:
Baffling faults in the transmission systems have shut down Germany’s largest wind park in the North Sea. Since March experts have been searching for the bugs in the unreliable electrical technology, with no success up to now.”
Eighty 5 MW turbines sitting idle
Experts believe the problem could be in the HVDC transmission, which could be fault-prone. Ingenieur.de writes that the mega-sized wind park Bard 1 consists of 80 units 5-MW turbines. The immense losses incurred due to the shutdown with each passing aren’t difficult to fathom.
Ingenieur.de adds that the engineers don’t appear to be anywhere close to a long-term solution:
Up to now no one knows the cause of the transmission problems. The windpark hasn’t been delivering any power since March.”
The engineering magazine writes that the power generated offshore by the 80 turbines first flows to a collector station, where it is transformed to 380,000 volt AC power and sent to the BorWin 1 Platform before being sent onshore as 150,000 volts HVDC. Ingenieur.de writes: “However, this is not functioning.”
If the problem is indeed rooted in the HVDC technology, then Germany’s dream of supplying its demand with wind power will be in serious jeopardy. Ingenieur.de writes that should this be the case, “then the complete concept of the power providers, producers, grid operators and the German government is in danger.”
Ingenieur.de writes, however, that it is unlikely that the problem has to do with the HVDC technology, as it is successfully being used all over the world. The engineering magazine believes the problems likely stem from the technology that is placed just before the HVDC platform, which “was designed by Bard itself, and not by an experienced company like ABB, Siemens or General Electric.” (One can almost sense the schadenfreude).
Ingenieur.de notes that Bard is now financially insolvent, and that in the meantime grid operator TenneT is scrambling to find a solution, hoping the faults will be rectified in August.
Anyone following Germany’s man-on-the-moon-scale offshore windpark project will tell you that it is currently quite a huge mess. So much so that things can only get better.