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Integration of hydrokinetic and tethered wing renewable energy systems into remote coastal communities

For coastal communities, hydrokinetic turbines and tethered wings will be deployed from barges and both require a sea cable, medium voltage dc bus, and energy storage for effective use. This project demonstrates interconnection to a remote community using a grid converter and lithium ion batteries.

The focus for the EUREKA project is integration of renewables into off-grid coastal communities, using the Mavi Blind Channel tidal energy project as a demonstration. MAVI INNOVATIONS will demonstrate a 20 kW floating hydrokinetic turbine at Blind Channel, integrated with a 120/208V three phase power network powered by a 65kW diesel generator for 3 months of the year and a 30 kW generator for 9 months of the year. This is typical of small off-grid communities (e.g. less then 250 kW demand), in that a single oversized diesel generator is used to service loads that are unbalanced and vary greatly over the day. As the generator is already lightly loaded, it is difficult to effectively integrate renewables. TWINGTEC AG (based in Switzerland) is developing a 20 kW tethered wing wind turbine to power off-grid networks, an approach referred to as TwingPower. The company is investigating various micro-grid integration approaches as well as a barge-mounted system for coastal installations. Twingtec and Mavi face similar grid-integration challenges. We seek to develop a common power system to reduce development and testing costs. The Blind Channel project addresses many practical challenges that face both technologies: - bidirectional control and power transmission over affordable sub-sea cables; - cost-effective cable laying and deployment from a floating barge; - matching the demand and the resource; - integration of high voltage (480V class) battery packs; - automated control of the diesel network; - handling of unbalanced phases; - optimizing diesel generator loading; - remote monitoring. The project is the first of its kind, and development of a fully integrated control system will require a significant investment in R&D. World-wide, there is very little experience integrating medium-voltage systems with small remote diesel grids. Cost-effective power electronics and battery packs suited to this application have only emerged from the marine and auto industry in the last few years. The equipment is becoming very cost-effective, but the engineering expense for control systems development and integration is prohibitive. The project would support the following work: * design and test an affordable cable laying process for marine renewable energy projects; * design and test a power management system for grid integration of the Mavi tidal turbine; * implement start-stop controls on a small 15 kW diesel generator; * optimize battery pack state of charge to perform demand management; * implement remote monitoring; * evaluate the battery & grid converter power system against requirements for tethered wing turbines.
Acronym: 
IRECC
Project ID: 
10 721
Start date: 
01-06-2016
Project Duration: 
10months
Project costs: 
100 000.00€
Technological Area: 
Hydropower
Market Area: 
Alternative Energy

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