Development of the SWIFT Facility wind turbines reached a critical milestone this week, with the successful ground testing of the new variable-speed controller at Halus Power Systems, in Oakland, California.
This milestone was a culmination of the turbine rewiring and control hardware installation led by Jon Berg (Wind Energy Technologies Dept.) and the control software development led by Vestas. The Sandia and Vestas team, joined by National Instruments and Halus Power Systems, worked to integrate the upgrades and then demonstrated active yaw and pitch control. The team also verified that all control logic, emergency, watchdog, data acquisition, etc., circuits were correctly integrated and updated for the new control hardware. Lastly, the distributed time-synchronized data acquisition and control network successfully passed all testing with the complete nacelle, ground, and full power conversion variable speed drive connected via EtherCAT.
The team will continue to test the control and safety systems through the remainder of the onsite time. The next steps will be to assemble the nacelle cover and complete refurbishment of the one-piece tower in preparation for turbine shipment by mid-November.