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Firmware development methodology designed to simplify wind turbine converter validation and certification

As more wind energy is connected to the grid, ensuring the correct electrical performance of the wind turbine is critical, to maximise production and also ensure the safe operation of the grid. The power converter is the active component connecting the turbine to the grid. As the interface between the two, the power converter is designed to function to meet the needs of the generator side and the grid side.

Following power converter installation, unwanted firmware behaviour can have serious consequences, from impact on production, leading to reduced revenues, to non-fulfilment of grid code requirements. It can even lead to damage to other turbine components, resulting in higher operational and maintenance costs.

Ingeteam’s robust firmware development methodology has been developed to minimise onsite validation and certification and has several key benefits:

– Enables the ability to track the
desired functionality from specification to validation.

– Allows for establishing requirements for various functionalities, including converter protections and emergency sequences, fieldbus communications, dynamic behaviour, power quality (PQ) response, fault ride-through (FRT) and dynamic response.

– Enables determination and defining of the proper validation environment for every stage of the development and functionality of the power converter, allowing for testing of functionality, from individual code debugging to partial code software-in-the-loop (SiL) simulation, to full controller testing in hardware-in-the-loop (HiL) simulation.

– Allows automation of test execution to ensure the validity of a solution upon multiple external conditions, such as
grid variations and grid code fulfilment
for example.

Through this methodology process, any issues found during the validation stage are quickly fed back into the development stage to be corrected.

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