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Ndsu Research Could Change Wind Power Grid


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A wind farm.

Researchers at North Dakota State University are investigating whether direct-current wind power grids are feasible.

Credit: Grand Forks Herald (ND)

North Dakota State University (NDSU) researchers are exploring the possibility of using direct-current (DC) wind power grids.

The research could help increase wind energy penetration by making wind power more widespread, reliable, and efficient, says NDSU professor Nilanjan Ray Chaudhuri. He notes DC transmission technology would be a more economical way to move wind power from the Midwest to more highly populated areas.

The U.S. National Science Foundation has awarded a five-year, $502,810 grant to the NDSU researchers, who will use the funding to address key aspects of a new system.

Chaudhuri says there has been no computer modeling on how a hybrid DC grid system would work, and such a system would have to integrate different technologies for onshore and offshore wind power. "No one has worked on any such hybrid system; that's where we have some challenges," Chaudhuri says.

Power sharing is another issue the team will study. Chaudhuri notes the AC grid does not manage disturbances in power supply well when connected to the DC grid, so he and his students will have to work out a solution for when a converter goes down.

From Grand Forks Herald (ND)
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